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On-the-Go Kids Need Healthy Snacks

Snacks are especially important for two- to six- year olds because their stomachs are small and hunger comes often. Snacks between meals fill in gaps for needed nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. Snacks with fruit, vegetables, and dairy can provide these nutrients. Surveys reveal that many children do not get enough of these nutrients so snacks are the place to sneak them in.

Plan snacks at least one hour before mealtime. Snacks or sweetened drinks too close to meals can suppress the appetite for an upcoming meal.

Give them choices! Let your child choose her snack from a few healthy foods. This way she feels she has some control and ends up with a healthy snack no matter what she chooses.

Snack Combos

Offer two or three food group choices for snacks to get vitamins, calcium, potassium and fiber.

For calcium and potassium, offer milk most often. Low fat yogurt, pudding, or cheese are good choices, too.

For potassium and fiber, fruits and vegetables are super choices.

B vitamins and fiber are from breads, crackers, and cereals, especially those labeled whole grain.

Nuts, peanut butter, beans, or hummus are healthy snack ideas loaded with protein.

Less often, choose cookies and sweets. However, read the label for healthier choices with less sugar and fat, or more fiber.

Guard Against Choking!
    Watch children while they eat.