NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Help Kids Choose Healthful Snacks

Help Kids Choose Healthful Snacks


            Kids are out of school for the summer, and you may notice them heading to

the refrigerator more often.  However, they might not be making healthful choices. Candy, cookies, chips and cake are among the snacks kids choose most frequently, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. Calories can add up quickly. For example, one can of soda pop has up to 170 calories and no nutrients.


            Snack time is the perfect opportunity to include more fruits and vegetables in your kids' diet.


            Providing nutritious snacks doesn't have to be expensive, but you may need to do some planning to make them readily available for your child.  Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Service food and nutrition specialist has a few suggestions to make summer snack tip tasty and healthy.


* Plan snacks with your child so you buy nutritious foods he or she likes

and will eat.


* Involve your child in grocery shopping by letting him or her pick out

one new fruit, vegetable or other nutritious food each time you shop.


* Keep baggies of cut-up fruits and veggies in the fridge for a

grab-and-go snack.


* Make snacks requiring more preparation the night before so they are

ready when you need them.


            Getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables can be difficult, so make snack time fun,. Try serving veggies with low-fat dip or providing a variety of cut-up fruits and veggies and letting your kids create kabobs. If your kids are preschoolers, you may need to help them.


            Don't be surprised if you are attempting to get your child to try a new fruit, vegetable or other nutritious food and he or she doesn't like it. You may need to offer your child a new food 10 to 15 times before he or she will eat it, nutrition experts say.


            Having kids help make snacks might be another way to get them to eat nutritiously. They're more likely to eat foods they've had a hand in preparing. They'll also learn what portion sizes look like and be better able to make smart food choices.



            For more information about healthful snacks, visit http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/eatsmart/now_serving.htm. You'll find a variety of publications, including two about easy snacks. For videos showing some easy-to- make snacks, go to http://www.ndsu.edu/eatsmart. Three NDSU Bison athletes and a coach demonstrate the snack recipes. The videos are part of the "Eat Smart. Play Hard. Together" campaign.


          Cooking together is another way to encourage kids to try new foods.   The following Fruit and Yogurt Muffin recipe offers the opportunity for lots of flavor variations.

Fruit and Yogurt Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 (8 ounce) container blueberry flavored yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, egg, vanilla, butter and blueberries. Stir mixtures together just until combined; batter will be very thick. Scoop into prepared muffin cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Calories: 205; Total Fat: 4.5g; Cholesterol: 28mg

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