Make healthy snacks for home and school

Explore tips and suggestions for smart-snacking at school and in the workplace.

Smart snacking is a great way to meet daily nutrient requirements that may be missed at meal times. Children may need snacks to help them get enough calories (energy) throughout the day. So, choosing healthy foods that add nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, to their diets is essential.

If chosen carefully, snacks can promote good health by supplying nutrients without adding too many calories.

Plan ahead and buy healthy snacks when you grocery shop — you will save money and will make healthier choices than buying snacks on the go.

Provide kids choices and make the choices you offer reasonably nutritious. Pre-portion your child’s snacks into small plastic bags to grab on the go or put a snack-sized serving on a plate. Designate an area in your refrigerator or cupboard for healthy snacks that you have selected and your kids like — let them help themselves without having to ask or permission.

Combine snacks from at least two food groups to pack more nutrients into your child’s diets — it will be more filling and will hold them over until their next meal. Example: Adding milk to cereal or serving string cheese with whole-wheat crackers or fruit is an easy way to add calcium, protein, and other important nutrients to snacks.

Here are some quick and nutritious snack ideas:

Dairy group

  • String cheese and fruit
  • Milk or yogurt smoothies
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Fat-free or 1% flavored milk

Fruits and vegetables

  • Raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt dip
  • Apples and cheese
  • Snack size applesauce
  • Trail mix with dried fruit

Grain group

  • Whole-grain crackers with peanut butter
  • Flavored rice cakes
  • Pretzel sticks

Tangy Yogurt Vegetable Dip Recipe

  • 2-1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • Pinch of black pepper

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Use vegetables of your choice— carrot sticks, celery sticks, broccoli, etc. It’s best to make the dip ahead and refrigerate it overnight.

Nutrient Information
38 Calories/1 g Fat/ 5g Carbohydrates, 3g Protein/ 96 mg Calcium

For more information on healthy snacks for the workplace, see the article “Survive the afternoon slump with 150 calories or less.

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