1. What are the best snacks for kids to help them sustain their energy levels all day?
The best snacks for sustaining energy levels are ones that combine complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits or vegetables, with some lean protein such as nuts or cheese, and a little bit of fat to enhance taste and satiety.
Healthy Kids Challenge Top 10 Healthy Snack Choices
- ½ cup fresh fruit – with low-fat yogurt dip
- ½ cup vegetables – with low-fat dressing dip
- 5 whole grain crackers – with salsa or bean dip
- 1 cup whole grain cereal – with 8 oz. skim milk
- 3 cups popcorn – with 1 oz. nuts (10 almonds or 15 peanuts)
- 1 oz. low-fat cheese – with 1 thin slice lean meat and whole grain roll
- 8 oz. fat-free flavored yogurt – with cut-up fresh fruit added
- 1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese – with pineapple chunks
- 1 oz. nuts (10 almonds or 15 peanuts) – with ¼ cup raisins
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter – with celery sticks
2. Where do we go for quick, easy, and healthy recipes?
Here’s a list of Healthy Kids Challenge favorites online. Each of these is a Partner in Health with HKC. You can count on all of them to offer a variety of healthy recipes, affordable family meal ideas, and even “kid friendly” recipes sections, too!
Cooking Light – Includes categories such as “quick and easy” and “kid friendly” and access to the magazine’s recipe list.
Cabot – In addition to recipes, the Healthy Eating section includes recipe makeovers and cooking with kids tips.
Del Monte Recipes & Tools – Kid friendly recipes are simple to make and the “Meals Under $10” are healthy and tasty, too.
Mission – Look for “Family Meals Under $10” and “Fiesta Favorites” for a healthy spin on traditional tortilla fare.
3. Why is it important to eat whole grains and limit saturated fat?
A healthy diet including fiber from whole grains is important because whole grains help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may help with weight management. The fiber in whole grains helps provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. A food with 5 grams or more per serving is high in fiber.
It is important to limit saturated fat, which is solid fat, because it tends to raise LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, increasing your risk for heart disease. Limit solid fats like butter, stick margarine, or shortening. Instead, choose oils, which are more heart healthy, and in small amounts are a healthy choice. Choose fat from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils more often. For more information, visit www.mypyramid.gov.