Whether your children are attending school or participating in remote learning, one thing remains constant, when lessons are done, they’re ready for snacks and fun. But with nearly 14 million children and young adults in the U.S. considered obese or significantly overweight, making sure children have access to healthy snacks is a growing priority.
This September, commit your family to healthy habits by following these tips to create a healthy and delicious snack drawer in your home.
Identify a drawer that is kid-friendly in height.
When choosing the location of your healthy snack drawer, consider the height of the youngest school-aged member of your family. The drawer should be accessible and easy to open, as you’ll want to avoid unnecessary accidents from your little one attempting to grab snacks outside of their reach.
For items that require cooler temperatures, such as fruit and non-sugary beverages, also consider designating a space or drawer in your refrigerator. Cooler healthy snacking choices will go a long way on warmer days.
Use snack-size bags to pre-portion snacks.
One of the best ways to avoid overindulgence in snacking is to be aware of portion sizes. An easy way to help your family stay within the right portions is to use snack-size bags for their healthy treats. These are great for crackers, fruit, vegetables and more and become quite handy for grabbing a quick snack when on the go.
Include variety in healthy snacking choices.
To avoid sending your family into a complete state of non-sugary shock, make sure you add variety to your healthy snacking choices. Moving away from items containing a lot of sugar may take some getting used to, but with the right selection of items, your family will be sure to adapt soon enough.
A few healthy snack selections to consider include:
Fresh fruit (orange slices, apple slices, grapes, strawberries)
Fresh-cut vegetables (carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper slices)
Turkey, ham or deli meat roll ups
Fruit cups in 100 percent fruit juice
Apple sauce cups (no sugar added)
Assorted fruit squeeze pouches
Also, a best practice is to have your family pick out their own snacks. Making time to involve them on this snacking switch will help to create long-lasting and healthy habits.
For additional information on how to help your children maintain a healthy weight, visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html.