Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks
To help your children to maintain energy
and nutrients for their growth
- Offer snacks 2 to 3 times a day, 2
hours before meals
- Include foods from the four food groups
of Canada's Food Guide
- Limit snack portions to a reasonable
size so they don't interfere with meals
- Include healthy snacks on your grocery
- Prepare muffins, trail mixes etc.
on the weekend when you may have more
- Ask your child for healthy snack ideas
but set limits on unhealthy snacks
Children have the biggest appetites right
after school and before bed so make snacks
Get your child/teen to eat less "junk
Make healthy food quick and easy to grab
- Cut-up fruit and veggies
- Whole grain, low fat crackers and
cheese (slices, strings, or foil wrapped
cubes or wedges)
- Peanut butter or other nut butters
on crackers, English muffins, bagels
- Mini muffins
- Trail mix
- Baked tortilla chips with salsa or
bean dip (available in Natural Values
section of major grocery stores)
Buying convenient, single-serve packages
- Yogurt cups, tubes or drinks
- Fruit Snacks
- Cereal bars
- Frozen fruit bars on a stick
- Raisins or other dried fruit
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Stocking up on...
Quenching thirst with...
- Water or milk. Kids can easily fill
up on sweetened beverages and lose their
appetite for more nutritious choices.
- Pop and other sweetened beverages.
Watch Out For...
- High fat and low nutrient snacks
Unfortunately, most snacks marketed
to children are unhealthy, high in fat
and low in nutrients (e.g. potato chips,
pop, chocolate bars, candy). Snack choices
such as chips, chocolate bars and pop
should be occasional treats rather than
- Sugary cavity causing foods
Foods that are sticky and sweet cling
to the teeth and can contribute to cavities.
Hard and crisp foods, such as apples,
raw vegetables; cheese, and sugarless
gum help to clean teeth after snacking
by increasing saliva flow. Encourage
children to rinse their mouth with water
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- Write a healthy snack list with your
child and post it on the fridge!
- Granola or cereal
bars that contain marshmallows, chocolate
chips and frosting are more like chocolate
bars. The best choices are those that
are higher in fibre, lower in fat and
- Popcorn-spice it up with grated cheese
or sprinkle on flavoured toppings
- Read and compare labels:
If you buy dried fruit snacks, choose
brands that contain 100% dried fruit with
no added sugar. Depending on size, a fruit
snack with 100% dried fruit can be counted
as one or more servings of fruit from
the Vegetable and Fruit food group.
From Cook Great Food © 2002. Published by Robert Rose. Reprinted by permission
of Dietitians of Canada.
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December 20, 2011