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How to make healthy after-school snacks

HOUSTON – Dietitian Kristi King from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital said snacks should have a protein and a fiber source and typically range from 100-200 calories.

She said parents should remember that kids need snacks to help fuel their brain, but they can also be used to fill a void in the child’s diet. For example, she recommends, if your child isn’t getting enough dairy from other sources that day, add milk (even chocolate milk) to their snack.

Examples of a well-balanced snack:

  • String cheese & apple
  • Carrots & hummus
  • Nut butter & banana
  • Deli meat & cheese roll-up with crackers
  • Yogurt with a half-cup of whole grain cereal
  • Half of a peanut butter sandwich

Veggies that pair well with ranch dressing or hummus:

  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini & squash rounds or sticks
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes

The worst snacks King said parents should stop giving children:

  • Fast food
  • Sports drinks
  • Soda
  • High-sugar granola bars
  • Candy

King said large portions of pizza or sandwiches should be reserved for meal time, not served as snacks.