Snack Smart This Summer
Don’t let high-sugar, high-fat summertime treats derail your healthful eating plan. Use the following tips to help ensure that you and your family make healthy snack food choices throughout the summer.
Think of snacking as a complement to your meals. Include foods from food groups that you fall short on during meals, such as fruit or vegetables.
Snack for energy and staying power. Include a small amount of carbohydrate from fruits, vegetables or whole grains, along with a little protein or healthy fat.
Keep it structured. Keep a regular schedule for meals and snacks throughout the summer. This will help prevent excessive snacking and calorie intake for you and your family – especially for the kids who are no longer following their school-year routines. Offer meals at the same time each day and schedule snacks in between.
Stock your home with healthful, nutrient-rich foods and limit the availability of high-sugar, high-fat snack foods and treats.
Have the children eat their meals and snacks in the kitchen and away from the TV or computer.
Avoid eating from the bag or box – portion out servings to avoid overeating.
For a refreshing frozen treat, have frozen fruit. Enjoy them by themselves, blend them into a smoothie, or add them to yogurt, cottage cheese, or cereal.
Plan ahead for family vacations. Whether you’re just going out for the afternoon or going for the weekend, avoid the limited options at gas stations and fast food joints by bringing along your own healthful snacks. Pack a cooler for items that need to be kept cool.
The following are just a few healthful snack ideas to pack.
- Fresh fruit such as bananas, apples, peaches, nectarines and berries with Babybel Cheese or cheese sticks
- Raw vegetables such as baby carrots, cut-up sweet peppers, cucumber and zucchini with hummus or other bean dip
- Small handful of nuts, seeds or trail mix
- Nut and fruit bars
- Hard-boiled egg with crackers
- Yogurt topped with fruit
- Cottage cheese topped with fruit
- Peanut butter and crackers
- Peanut butter and jam sandwiches