Just in time for Back to School, Frances Largeman-Roth shares her tips on how much and how often kids should be snacking!
For toddlers and preschoolers, Frances says two to three snacks a day in addition to their regular three meals works best. Snacks for this age group can contribute significantly to their overall nutrition because they don’t eat as much at mealtimes.
For older kids, one or two snacks a day and three regular meals are suggested. Frances encourages parents to take into account after school activities when planning snacks; if your kids are active they’ll need something more substantial. Another good tip is to have a drawer or cabinet stocked with nutritious snacks so that kids can help themselves.
Frances says that snacks should be served two hours after a meal, and at least an hour before the next one. Make sure snacks are served in an appropriate portion size. Handing over a snack cup full of crackers is always preferable to handing over the box of crackers.
Here are some of Frances’ favorite after school snack combinations:
- ½ cup sliced strawberries plus a cheese stick or cheese slice
- 4 ounces of milk and ¾ cup whole grain cereal
- ½ cup baby carrots (for kids big enough to chew them) plus ¼ cup hummus
- 1 mini pita bread plus 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (or nut-free sunflower butter)
- ½ banana sliced up over 4 ounces of yogurt
As Frances says, full kids are much nicer to be around! Tips, photo, and snack recipes from franceslargemanroth.com.