HealthWorks! Healthy Living Series: Healthy Snacks
by The Center for Better Health and Nutrition/HealthWorks! at Cincinnati Children's
Barbara Lattin, Registered Dietitian: "Snacks are small amounts of healthy foods eaten between meals.
They help us manage hunger and limit cravings. They are also an important way to get needed vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
We recommend no more than 1 to 2 snacks per day. Snack size, just like meals, depends on who the snack is for – small children need smaller snacks while teenagers will need bigger snacks.
Examples of a small snack can be as simple as:
- a piece of fruit (an apple, orange or fruit cup)
- some vegetables (carrot or celery sticks) or
- a piece of string cheese
Examples of a bigger snack can be as simple as:
- an ounce of nuts
- a low sugar snack bar or
- ½ cup of cottage cheese
Another way to make snacks fun (and perhaps more
filling) is to combine foods together. Why not try:
- apple or celery sticks paired with peanut
- berries topped with yogurt or
- cheese or tuna on whole wheat crackers
Just remember that portion sizes need to be
adjusted to match who is having the snack:
- if the combo snack is for a small child it
might be: •½ an apple & ½ a tablespoon of
•3 ounces of yogurt with ½ cup of berries or
•½ a slice of cheese or ¼ cup of tuna with 3
- if the combo snack is for a teen it might be:
•an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
•6 ounces of yogurt with a cup of berries
•1 slice of cheese or ½ cup of tuna with 6
whole grain crackers
Remember snacks are small portions of healthy foods that get us from one meal to the next without getting too hungry.
Many people think of foods like chips & sweets as snack foods - they taste good but don’t provide us with the good nutrition our bodies need.
We can have healthy snacks every day, but limit sweets, chips and other unhealthy choices to occasionally.
And just like planning can help us eat healthier meals, so can planning snacks.
-who will be eating the snacks
-how many snacks are needed and
-pre-package so they are always ready in the right-sized portions
Check out our meal planning video for more planning ideas."
The funding for these videos was in part provided by Master Han and the Han’s White Tiger Tae Kwon Do Annual Break-A-Thon. Thank you!