Choosing healthful snacks is a habit that can benefit kids every day as they grow. But to a lot of kids and teens, a snack is a bag of chips, some cookies or other high calorie, low nutrient food. Kids are eating more snacks than ever and their calorie intake from those snacks has nearly doubled over the last 30 years. Unfortunately, the extra snacking has contributed to individuals becoming overweight in our society.
Which is why, as part of Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA in Willmar, MN approximately 100 kids and their families took the time to learn about Allina Health’s Health Powered Kids program and
the importance of healthful snacks. “We came up with a healthy trail mix that families could make together that would provide them with energy throughout the day,” says Amber Chevalier, ReYou Program Wellness Care Guide at Rice Memorial Hospital. “We also had kids sign the pledge to ‘Eat Right and Move More‘ and asked their parents to hold them accountable.”
While snacking isn’t bad for kids, it’s important to be mindful about the kinds of snacks they have. Snacking can help kids stay focused at school and while doing homework, and give them a nutrition boost for the day. Healthful snacks are ones that fit into the five food groups. For example, string cheese (dairy) and carrot sticks (vegetable). Potato chips may start out as a healthful vegetable but after processing, it becomes high in calories, fat and sodium.
Health Powered Kids tools you can use:
- Visit healthpoweredkids.org to access online lessons and resources.
- Share an activity from healthpoweredkids.org with a personal note to your child’s teacher, school nurse, Scout leader, sports coach, camp counselor or daycare provider.
Our 2014 user survey indicated that 88 percent of respondents found Health Powered Kids “essential,” “very helpful” or “helpful” in improving health at their home, school or organization. Healthier starts at healthpoweredkids.org.