Do your kids make a beeline for the fridge the second they jump off the bus? That hectic rush of energy as your children burst through the door after school usually means a trip to the kitchen to devour whatever is in sight.
"One challenge to healthy snacking today is distractions – all those we face, with watching TV or when using other electronic devices," says Doylestown Health dietitian, Kristin Morrow, RD, LDN, CDE. "When kids are occupied while snacking, they don't pay attention to what and how much they are eating, and then a point of satisfaction is difficult to detect."
However, an after school snack doesn't have to be unhealthy - use our tips to keep your kids' snacking on track!
Regularly scheduled meal times are helpful to maintaining your child's mental and physical health, so plan ahead by creating a set time for snacks. Not only will this help to control hunger and cravings, it will also encourage them to save room for dinner. Consider your child's schedule and set snack time accordingly.
Kids love to have options, so it is best to prepare in advance. Store sliced veggies and fruit in the fridge at a level where your child can reach them.
During your next trip to the grocery store, make sure to look for single serving containers of your kids' favorite healthy foods. Individually wrapped foods are the perfect fix for curbing growing appetites.
An afternoon snack should not outdo dinner – make sure your kids understand how much is enough. Help teach them about portion control by storing already prepared snacks in single-serving bags or containers for quick, on-the-go options.
Mix it up
The same snack every day can get dull, so incorporating new foods and healthy alternatives to the classics will make satisfying the mid-afternoon cravings fun. For older children, mix nuts and dried fruit for an easy trail mix, or blend up a refreshing smoothie for a tasty treat.
Snack time doesn't have to be stressful; save time and keep your family healthy with our after school snack tips!
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Doylestown Health is committed to providing family-centered children's services to Bucks and Montgomery County communities. The Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center offers expert inpatient care to all ages including infants, children and teens. Della Penna Pediatric Center Services extend beyond the hospital setting to include health and wellness education, nutrition services and other support services.
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