Healthy snacks are an important part of a well-balanced diet. From string cheese to celery with peanut butter, people often look forward to these snack food items and want to incorporate them more into their everyday diets.
Still, as kids go back to school, many parents struggle with how to provide the right kinds of snacks. They may even struggle with whether or not to send snacks to school with their children at all.
Below is the good and bad of healthy snacks and what you should look out for when you pick out snacks for your kids.
Not all snacking is bad. If you incorporate healthy snack foods into your kids’ diets, they’ll have more energy and focus at school.
Good snacking includes a balance of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, cheeses, and yogurts. Even pretzels, baked tortilla chips, and dried fruit make great snacks. These items stave off hunger and provide a balance of protein and carbohydrates.
It’s important to provide school snacks in correct portion sizes. While it’s healthy to eat 1 to 2 ounces of artisanal cheese, eating 6 ounces is too much. This habit could lead to weight gain from too many calories.
Snacks get a bad reputation because of unhealthy snack foods such as individual-sized packages of chips, candy, and cookies. Many of these foods have too much salt and processed sugar or contain artificial ingredients and colors.
These types of snacks cause hormonal imbalances and sugar crashes. Try to avoid sending your kids with these snacks. It might be easy to just throw these packaged items into a lunchbox, but healthier alternatives are just as effortless.
Some seemingly healthy foods like chewy fruit snacks have too much added sugar, too. Just because they have the word fruit in their name doesn’t mean they’re healthy for your kids. Be sure to check out nutritional labels.
To discuss how snacking plays a role in healthy eating, contact us today for a consultation on how we can help take your nutritional plans to a new level.