As survey presents contradictory statements, what stops you from listening to your own body for reliable advice? Too many experts spoil the broth. But, serving healthy snacks to your child is significant to providing healthy nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helps to preclude the risk of diseases in long run, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Snacks play major role in the growth of child. From 1977 to 1996, the calorie consumption by children has increased by 120 calorie each day, owing to the unhealthy snacking habits. Here are the few guidelines for parents, teachers, caregivers for giving healthy snacking to children at home, schools (mid-day meals) etc. Fruits are the gift by god. Apple, “the Forbidden Fruit” of heaven nuggets nutrition property that satisfy a sweet tooth. You all must be familiar of this famous saying “an Apple a day keeps the Doctor Away.” Feed your child diet filled with fruits that are essential for the development his/her overall development and growth. Most of the Snacks served to children should contain fruits and vegetables as children do not eat recommended five to thirteen serving of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating snacks rich in fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer and high blood pressure.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins A and vitamin C and fiber as well. Thus, fresh and dry fruits are natural staple for every child.
Fruits are sweet and kids favorite. Fruit can be served whole, sliced, cut in half, cubed, or in wedges. Canned, frozen, and dried fruits often need little. Apple (without peeling the skin), apricot, banana, watermelon, muskmelon, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, pears mangoes, oranges, peaches, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, grapefruits and grapes as well are some of the fine-fettle fruits for children.
Make fruit salad; Use the variety of colored fruits to add to the appeal. Try raisins, apricot, apples, cranberries, pineapple, papaya and other fruits with little or no added sugar in it. Make the serving more interesting or flavorsome by adding juice, yogurt, or milk and rice. Many store-made smoothies have added sugars and are not healthy choices.Serve raw vegetables with dip or added or salad dressing. Broccoli, Carrot sticks or Baby Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery Sticks, Cucumbers, Peppers (green, red or yellow), Snap Peas or Snow Peas, String Beans, Tomato Slices or Grape or Cherry tomatoes, Yellow Summer Squash Slices, Zucchini Slices are the recommended veggies for kids. Try low-fat salad dressings, like fat-free Ranch or Thousand Island, store-bought light dips, bean dips, guacamole, hummus (which comes in dozens of flavors), salsa, or peanut butter.
Dry or low fat milk, whole grain cereals like Cheerios, Grape-nuts, raisins bran, frosted mini wheat etc. make good snacks. Look for cereals for no more than 35% added sugar by weight. Look for low-fat popcorn in a bag or microwave popcorn. Or you can air pop the popcorn and season it, e.g., by spraying it with vegetable oil spray and adding parmesan cheese, garlic powder, or other non-salt spices. Cheese is the number two source of heart-damaging saturated fat in children’s diet. Cheese provides calcium but often its saturated fat price is too high. Thus, Even with low fat or saturated fat serve cheese with other foods like fruits, vegetables and wholegrain crackers.
Water should be the main drink served to kids at snack times. Water satisfies thirst and does not have sugar or calories. (Plus, it is low-cost for care-givers!) If kids are used to getting sweetened beverages at snack times, it may take a little time for them to get used to drinking water. Children who drink more sweet food consume more calories and are more likely to be overweight as compare to who eat less sweet food. In the same way, fruit juice contains vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting compounds but is high in calories. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention on the amount of the juice and food given to child. Every child needs special attention especially in their growth years. Remember, child’s care is not a child’s play. by Anand Kumar