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Tips for helping kids snack healthier

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 09-03-2010

A recent study may provide a clue as to why the obesity rate among American children and teens is skyrocketing. Researchers at the University of North Carolina have found that kids in the U.S. are constantly eating snacks, and they’re indulging in more unhealthy foods between mealtimes.

"Childhood snacking trends are moving toward three snacks per day, and more than 27 percent of children’s daily calories are coming from snacks," said the study’s authors. "The largest increases have been in salty snacks and candy. Desserts and sweetened beverages remain the major sources of calories from snacks."

There are ways fathers can help ensure that when their kids reach for a snack, they’re eating something that will help fuel their bodies instead of just empty calories.

When it comes to snacking, choosing healthier, more filling options is key, according to KidsHealth.org. Fathers should avoid giving kids snacks that are high in sugar, simple carbohydrates and calories. Whole wheat pretzels, low-fat yogurt, fruit and cheese sticks are all great options.

Cutting out sugary soft drinks and juices is also a good idea as these items offer only empty calories and little to no nutritional value.

In addition, dads should encourage their kids to eat healthy, balanced meals and teach them about the importance of not skipping meals, especially breakfast.ADNFCR-1662-ID-19646664-ADNFCR