It's vacation season, but good nutrition shouldn't take a holiday. Help your kids make healthy choices!
Grab and graze: It's become the American way of eating. And while experts agree that regular meals are important for emotional and nutritional development, they've got good news about snacking, too. "Traditionally, we think of three major meals a day," says Dr. Lillian Beard, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. "However, children's stomachs are smaller and cannot hold enough to meet all of their energy needs." That's why those extra steps for refueling are helpful.
The key to healthy snacking is to make smart choices. Beard encourages parents to stock the refrigerator with fruits, yogurt, and other natural and whole-grain foods. "It's all about what you keep available in your home. I encourage parents to front-line their refrigerators and pantries with a large variety of what they want their youngsters to want," she says. "If you have lots of fruits, your youngsters will reach for fruit when they snack. What they see constantly is what they expect. Children live what they learn."
Try these creative snack solutions that'll satisfy summer hunger.
Scoop up some melon balls to make the body and hold the sections together with reduced-fat yogurt. Then, add raisins for eyes and pretzel sticks for antennae or legs.
Build a nest for a hard-boiled egg with a Bibb lettuce leaf, slivered almond "twigs" and string cheese strips.