When your kids come home from school, they can be really hungry. Some lunch times are scheduled before noon, and if there's no opportunity to grab a snack before the last bell rings, kids can work up a big appetite. Dr. Angela Mattke, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, has three tips on how to make sure the food they grab as they come in the door is healthy.
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After school, many kids come home ready for a snack. How can you be sure the grub they grab is nutritious? Here are three tips from Dr. Mattke.
“The first would be to supply many options," Dr. Mattke says. "Have lots of options available, so your kids are learning to make healthy choices.”
The second tip is to prep ahead of time.
“This is going to make them much more likely to choose a healthier snack if they don’t have to wash or peel, or cut the fruit or vegetable," Dr. Mattke says.
The third is location. Display choices on the counter or keep them in the fridge. Keep your kids out of the pantry or cupboards where processed foods are stored. That way, they won’t make a less nutritious choice. Now what types of healthy options should you offer?
Dr. Mattke says to cut up fruits and veggies with some hummus, so you’re getting the vegetables with hummus, which has protein in it, [or] a piece of fruit, such as an apple or banana with some peanut butter or some other nut butter. Low-fat cheese or plain yogurt with fruit and granola are other good options for nutritious after-school snacks.