The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently updated its recommendations for its “Smart Snacks in Schools” proposal, including limiting in-school snacks to 200 calories a day.
Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian Diane Dressel offers parents snack options that meet caloric standards, while also taking into account portability, perishability, food allergies and dietary restrictions. Dressel says, “What better time to get kids into healthy eating patterns than at a young age,” and encourages any snack idea to include fruits or vegetables. Here are some suggestions:
- Grapes and pretzels
- Apples and string cheese or baked chips
- Carrots and fat-free dip
- Yogurt with strawberries or blueberries
Mayo Clinic dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.,L.D., offers more tips. Zeratsky says that while you can't go through the school lunch line with your child, you can offer some guidance ahead of time about making healthy choices.
Journalists: Sound bites from Katherine Zeratsky on student nutrition tips and healthy food b-roll video are available in the downloads.