Here at Children’s Wellness Center (CWC), we receive plenty of questions from parents about nutrition for kids. As parents ourselves, we understand how important it is to try to provide nutritious food for our kids, not only to help them grow up fit and strong, but to teach them healthy eating habits that they will carry with them as they grow older. That’s why we’re always happy to take time to answer some of the more common questions we receive about how to provide healthy snacks for young children.
Though we typically think of meals as the time to provide our children with the vital nutrients they need, snack time can be a great opportunity to supplement your kids with bonus nutrients between meals and give them the fuel they need to power through the day. So with that said, here are some common questions we receive about how to provide healthy snacks for kids:
Dear CWC: How can I increase my child’s interest in fruits and vegetables as snacks?
A.) Snack time offers ample opportunity to increase your kid’s access and intake of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies. Though some kids may not be receptive to vegetables as a snack, try to get creative. Try pairing fruits and veggies with other foods they enjoy like combining fruits and cheese or adding lean peanut butter and raisins to some celery to create fun and healthy snacks for kids. We recommend pairing fruits and vegetables with proteins (apples with peanut butter, carrots with hummus, etc.).
Dear CWC: What are some good snack options to help my kids get the Vitamin D they need?
A.) As we’ve mentioned before, Vitamin D is among the most important nutrients for growing kids. Snack time offers plenty of opportunity to help your kids load up on the Vitamin D they require. We recommend Vitamin D fortified dairy products like milk, and yogurt. A hard-boiled egg can be the perfect little snack to provide a Vitamin D boost, as can a bit of canned tuna.
Dear CWC: Can you recommend healthy alternatives to sugary drinks?
A.) Kids love sugary drinks like fruit juice and soda due to the sweet taste, but they can lead to poor nutrition, obesity and tooth decay in kids. Remember, every 12-ounce soda, juice, Gatorade®, or chocolate milk contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and up to 200 calories. Drinking just one of these drinks per day can increase a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. We strongly suggest that parents substitute juice out for milk or water during snack time. A small serving of nutrient-rich coconut water or 100% juice can also be OK for kids. You can also consider low-sugar smoothies for added fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to the health and wellness of your kids, we appreciate any and all questions. After all, as parents there is a lot to know. That’s why our healthcare providers host Children’s Wellness Center Meet & Greet events each month. Our Meet & Greets are a great way to better get to know who we are, what we do, and how our practice can help provide your family with quality healthcare you can depend on. For more information, please contact Children’s Wellness Center today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more tips and updates.