Healthy and easy snacks for after schools activities

15 Aug

My son Nicholas is having soccer practice three times a week in the evenings, and games on the weekends. To plan healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks on my tight schedule, I use MyPlate, the nutrition guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture, as a guide. Meal planning and health tips can be found online at ChooseMyPlate.gov.manzana

If we have to eat fast food, we look up for options that are lower in fat and calories. We decide what will be ordered before going into the restaurant. Unfortunately low sodium foods are rare in fast food or any restaurant, but we eat lower sodium foods at home to make the overall intake of sodium less.

About 17 percent of fast food menu items can be considered “healthy choices,” according to fastfoodmarketing.org. On kid’s menus, approximately 12 of the 3,039 possible meal combinations meet nutritional criteria for preschoolers, and 15 combinations meet the criteria for older children.

To help on-the-go families, UGA Extension provides a few tips for healthy snacks and meals.

Simple snacks: plain, dried or paired fruits with sorbet or cottage cheese, yogurt, whole grain cereal, 100 percent frozen fruit bars, nuts for older children, trail mix — made with whole grain cereal, nuts and dried fruit —, homemade fruit breads and muffins (such as banana bread or carrot muffins), low-fat cheese with wholegrain bread or hummus and whole grain pita.

Planned snacks: A few snacks that can be made at home, then stored in a cooler or otherwise retained away from home include peanut butter sandwiches, salads with light dressing, milk in small boxes, hard-boiled eggs, single servings of cottage cheese, cut-up vegetables with light dip made with plain yogurt and homemade soups in thermos bottles.

Before and after practice snacks: Cut-up fruit and/or vegetables, yogurt, milk, half a sandwich made with real turkey (not lunch meat) or low-fat cheese or whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese make good snacks for active kids.

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