May 1, 2012

Serve up healthy snacks for hungry kids

It is 3 p.m., your children just got off the school bus, and they are "starving."

In some ways, this is the perfect time for a snack, since a hungry kid is not generally as picky. However, it's almost dinner time, and you would like your child to eat the nutritious meal you have prepared. If the snack you're providing is just as healthy as the meal you're serving, it is not as big a deal if your child eats less at dinner.


When choosing snacks for children, think about food groups: vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains, meat and beans. Snacks that do not fit into a food group should be limited. A potato chip, for example, is a long, lost relative of the vegetable group; with the amount of processing it has undergone, a chip should not be counted as a vegetable. Any foods that have a lot of added fat, sugar and salt should not be everyday snacks.

Enough of what not to eat; most things are OK in moderation. When choosing snacks, consider the items your children like and the food groups you think they may be lacking. Often children — and many Americans — do not eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, so a snack that includes them is often a good start.


Serving cut-up vegetables with dip can be easy and appealing for children.

For a quick, healthy snack, rinse and cut up your child's favorite vegetables and keep them readily available. I know that if I cut up carrot sticks for the week, we eat many more carrots than if I have to rinse, peel and chop at every snacking opportunity.

Try some healthy dips, such as hummus, refried beans mixed with a little salsa (great on bell peppers) or fat-free plain yogurt mixed with your child's favorite dressing.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time