Healthy Snacks for Kids St. Mary’s County Public Schools Department of Food and Nutrition Services
Snacks are a bigger part of kids’ lives than ever before. Snacks can make a positive or negative contribution to children’s diets depending on the choices that are offered. There are many nutritious snacks to choose from! _____________________________________________________________________ Beverages: Water should be the main drink served to kids at snack time. Other good choices include low-fat, or fat-free milk (plain or flavored), 100% fruit juices and drinkable low-fat yogurts. _____________________________________________________________________ Fruits and Vegetables: Most of the snacks served to children should be fruits or vegetables. Choices include: -Fresh fruits (i.e. apples, bananas, grapes, -Fresh vegetables can be served raw with cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon) low-fat dip or salad dressings: -Fruit salad -Broccoli -Canned fruit (in juice) -Carrot sticks -Applesauce cups (unsweetened) -Peppers (red, green, or yellow) -Dried fruit (raisins, banana chips, -Cucumbers cranberries, fruit leathers) -Cauliflower _____________________________________________________________________ Low-fat Grains: Try to serve mostly whole grains which provide more fiber, vitamins and minerals than refined grains. Choices include: -Breakfast or cereal bars -English muffins (whole grain) -Pretzels -Flavored rice cakes or mini rice cakes -Popcorn (low-fat) -Whole grain cereals/cereal mixes -Low-fat cookies (bear grahams, -Baked tortilla chips animal crackers, gingersnaps, vanilla -Graham crackers wafers or fig bars) -Bagels -Whole grain crackers -Other whole grain bread products (pita bread, bread sticks, rolls) _____________________________________________________________________ Low-fat Dairy Foods: Dairy foods are a great source of calcium, but can also be high in saturated fat. Protect children’s bones and hearts by serving only low-fat or fat-free dairy products. -String cheese (low-fat) -Yogurt (low-fat or light) -Low-fat frozen desserts
-Low-fat cottage cheese (serve w/ fruit) -Low-fat cheese -Puddings (low-fat)
_____________________________________________________________________ Nuts, Seeds, and Trail Mix: Since nuts are high in calories, it is best to serve them with another snack such as a fruit. Before bringing in peanuts or tree nuts as a snack, make sure none of the children in the group has an allergy to these foods. Look for nuts that are unsalted. -Peanuts, peanut butter -Cashews, almonds, soy nuts
-Sunflower seeds -Trail mix
____________________________________________________________________ Sources: School Nutrition Association, “Model Guidelines or Health and Wellness”; National Dairy Council; American Academy of Pediatrics; American Dietetic Association. This institution is an equal opportunity employer and provider.