Saturday, September 25, 2010

day 251: smart after school snacks for children

Today we have a guest author writing for PP 365. Take a look at her byline and visit her site, especially if you have kids preparing for college!

Smart Snacking for Children

According to the American Medical Association, more than 23 million children and teenagers nationwide are overweight or obese. Maybe that’s why congress dubbed September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Health experts say efforts to prevent obesity must start early before unhealthy habits are formed. So while your children are in class feeding their minds with knowledge, it’s up to you to feed their stomachs with nutritional goodies when they come home. Here are a couple of Do’s and Don’t’s when planning your child’s next healthy snack and a few fun recipes to try.


-Avoid anything sugary like cookies and candy.

-Stay away from junk food like greasy chips

-Avoid soft drinks.


-Make portions too big, this is a ‘snack’—a little something to curve your child’s appetite. It’s not intended to replace a meal.

-Buy store-bought snacks that are partially hydrogenated or high in trans fats

-Don’t be fooled by juices. Just because it says contains fruit, make sure that it’s 100 percent and be cautious of sugar content.


Peanut butter and fruit spread sandwich. This twist on the traditional PB&J is just as high in protein as the original sandwich, but is a healthier alternative. Your child won’t even notice the jelly/fruit spread difference.

Ingredients: 100% whole grain bread, one tablespoon of strawberry spread (without sugar, just fruit and juice), one tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter.

Assemble sandwich accordingly. Cut up into fun shapes using cookie cutters to make the sandwich look more appealing.

Nutritional value: 193 calories, 25 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 220 mg sodium, .7 g protein, 3 g fiber,

Fruit Kabobs. These colorful treats are both interesting to look at and fun to eat. Chop up the ingredients beforehand so your child and can make the kabobs his or her self. The more active they are in creating their own snacks, the better.

Ingredients: 1 apple, 1 banana, red seedless grapes or green seedless grapes, cup pineapple chunks, and abob skewers.

Place chopped up fruit in varying order on the skewer. Serve immediately or chill for later.

Nutritional value (one serving): 141 calories, 3 g fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 52 mg sodium, 2 g saturated fat, 103 mg calcium, 0.5 mg iron, 3 g fiber

Fruit Smoothie.

Fruit smoothes are both delicious and nutritious, no matter what fruit you choose to use. Smoothies in generally tend to be somewhat thick, but stay clear of ice cream as a thickening agent. Plain ice and frozen fruits are a better alternative. You can also use low-fat yogurt (which is a great source of calcium and amino acids).

Place fruit of choice with thickening agent in blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Serve chilled with a crazy straw for some pizzazz.

Nutritional varies depending on fruit choice and thickening agent but usually falls along these lines (one cup): 130 calories, .29 g fat, 33.52 g carbohydrate, .88g protein

Additional good-choices: Fruit pops, hummus dip, cheese sandwiches and granola.

This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes on the topics of bachelors degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:
This guest post is contributed by Alisa Gilbert, who writes for bachelors degree.

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