Tips for Healthy Snacking.
With childhood obesity on the rise and an increased national focus on sensible eating. It's more important than ever to offer healthy food alternatives to kids. And not just for lunch or dinner. Afternoon snack time is often overlooked when parents are meal planning, making it easy for families to stray away from making smart food choices. When grocery shopping, it's important to plan in advance, keeping snack time in mind. Here are some tips for keeping after-school snack time healthy.
Use cookie cutters to cut fruit into fun shapes, or engage kids by having them help make fruit or vegetable kabobs.
Stock your fridge (and freezer) sensibly.
Make it easy for kids to eat healthy by avoiding the junk food aisle all together.
Try a twist on the traditional.
Frozen grapes or a banana dipped in peanut butter are more likely to tempt kids' taste buds than a simple celery or carrot stick.
Lead by example.
If your eating habits are unhealthy, it's likely that your kids' will be the same way. Make smart food choices and they will too.
Keep the options open.
Give children a variety of choices to show them that there are many ways to eat healthy, tasty food. This prevents food boredom and will encourage them to make smart snack decisions on their own.
When in doubt, reach for Dr. Praeger's Littles.
These all-natural, bite-size veggie pancakes come in fun-shaped broccoli, potato, sweet potato and spinach varieties. Parents pressed for time can pop them in the oven for a quick and nutrient-rich snack perfect for fueling kids’ brains and bodies for an after-school sports practice or homework session.
“Parents should see snack time as an opportunity to teach kids to make smart health decisions. If kids start eating good-for-you foods early in life, they’re very likely to take healthy eating habits into adulthood.” Dr. Praeger.
Kids' Mealtime Tips.
Got a picky eater? Try one or more of these easy mealtime strategies.
Kids love dipping. Set up a dipping bar with their favorite dunks; Honey-mustard, marinara and barbecue. It's a great way to encourage them to try out new foods, like Dr. Praeger's Littles or Fishies.
Mix favorites with not-so-favorites.
By combining foods kids know and love with new or less favorite fare, you'll get them to eat a better variety of nutritious foods. Example? Cheese and Broccoli!.
Sandwiches are a convenient and tasty way to convince kids to get their protein and their veggies.
Make it a game.
Create a “little forest” by arranging your child’s lunch or dinner plate with fresh broccoli stalk “trees,” a yellow bell-pepper sunshine, and tasty Dr. Praeger’s Littles critters.
Create a kids salad bar.
Encourage your kids to eat salad, just like the grown-ups! Make a build-your-own salad bar with lots of colorful vegetables like cherry tomatoes and carrot coins, crisp lettuce, steamed broccoli or cauliflower and a nice homemade dressing.
And always remember: meals are supposed to be a fun, relaxed time for kids. Don’t get anxious if your child doesn’t eat or doesn’t eat what you want. Be patient and gently persistent—you’ll see the results.