After a long afternoon of school activities, most kids need a snack to tide them over until dinner. (Especially if they play after-school sports, or if there is a chance they haven’t eaten that well balanced lunch you packed for them.)
Snacking is normal for kids, who have small stomachs and high-energy requirements. They’re natural grazers, ideally eating smaller mini-meals and snacks throughout the day, rather than sitting down to one or two large meals. As with every meal, snacks should contain some protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Besides being a source of energy (read: calories) every snack offers the opportunity to boost nutrient intake. It’s always better to get essential vitamins and minerals from food sources, rather than rely on supplements. But every parent knows that kids won’t always munch on fresh fruit and carrot sticks – even if they’re cut up for them.
Published in October 2010.