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Healthy snack tips for the whole family

By Sheila Gregory, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Currituck County Center

Snacking has become a way of life for children and adults. Many common snack foods are high in fat, sugar and sodium. However, some of these foods that taste good are not healthy for our bodies. Make sure to choose foods that taste good and are good for you too.

Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.

Help your child to select a healthy snack that’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as an orange, banana or carrots.

Healthy Snacks Ideas

Children are more likely to eat foods that they see their parents eat and enjoy. We have to set a good example! Offer snacks at regular times, such as midmorning and midafternoon. Try to avoid high sugar, fatty and salty snacks, such as candy and soda. Take children shopping and let them help pick out healthy foods for the family. Allowing children to help prepare snacks will hopefully encourage them to try new foods.

Try fresh fruit that’s in season, cut in slices or halves, such as peaches, melons, pears or plums. Fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and broccoli can be served with a low-fat dip. Low-fat yogurt with fresh or canned fruit is another healthy snack option. This simple recipe can be prepared with minimal adult supervision (with the exception of very young children).

Carrot Cake Bites

These carrot cake bites make for a great snack. You can make them with your child over the weekend so they have a healthy snack to grab during the week. For some reason, virtual learning makes everyone more hungry. 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ package cream cheese (about 4 ounce)

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
  3. 3. Mix together the first five ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. 4. In a separated bowl mix together the next five ingredients.
  5. 5. Add all ingredients into a bowl, stir until all ingredients are mixed and batter forms.
  6. Drop dough by small teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

For more information on healthy snacks for your family, contact Sheila Gregory at 252-232-2261 or sheila_gregory@ncsu.edu. Recipe provided by 4-H Grows Here Cooking Up Confidence Cookbook.

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