Balanced nutrition is probably the biggest influence on energy and health
Cambridge, MA (Vocus) February 17, 2010
A recent study shows parents value nutrition when choosing snacks for their kids, but place even greater importance upon satisfying hunger. By choosing healthy, protein-packed snacks like sunflower seeds or nuts, parents can meet both demands.
“Because nutritious treats like sunflower seeds and raw or roasted nuts are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, they satisfy hunger longer and provide true energy boosts,” said Hicham Chraibi, food scientist for Superior Nut Company.
Snacks are an increasingly prevalent part of childhood, but highly processed and heavily marketed snack foods can be a concern for parents aiming to keep it healthy. The trend has even caught the eye of First Lady Michelle Obama, who recently launched the “Let’s Move” child health initiative. Leading the way in the $68.1 billion packaged snack foods industry are junk foods like the 100-calorie cookie pack, culinary trendologist Kara Nielsen recently told the New York Times.
While snacks do play an important role in boosting energy and maintaining normal blood sugar levels, if they start interfering with meal time appetites, it may be too much of a good thing. Well-timed, healthy snacks combined with three solid meals a day can work wonders for a child’s overall well-being.
“Balanced nutrition is probably the biggest influence on energy and health,” Atlanta-based registered dietitian Ilana Katz told Progressive Grocer magazine recently. “For a child to reach their highest potential in physical activity and health, the body as a whole must work optimally. A balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluids all play a crucial role.”
Move kids toward healthy snacks in three easy steps
1. Find a recipe to make your own peanut butter or other dip. Raw fruits and vegetables will be much more appealing and filling when paired with a tasty, nutritious dip. Children will likely become even more enthusiastic after helping make the dip.
2. Let kids decorate their own snack containers with markers or glitter glue. Letting kids add their own unique stamp will create much more excitement about the containers and the contents inside.
3. Let kids experiment with eating sugar-laden junk food and healthier options like seeds, nuts, or trail mix. Have them record how they feel an hour after eating the snack. For instance, do they feel energized or lethargic? Does their stomach hurt? Empowering children to make healthy food choices can end the battle once and for all.
About Superior Nut Company
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Superior Nut Company has remained family owned and operated for more than 70 years. The company mission includes a strong social and environmental commitment in its quest to produce the finest nut products in the world.
1. Supermarket Industry News. “Parents Worried About Kids’ After-School Snacks: Survey.” Progressive Grocer. Published Aug. 4, 2009. Accessed online Feb. 10, 2010.
2. Let’s Move: America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.
3. Steinhauer, Jennifer. “Snack Time Never Ends.” New York Times. Published Jan. 19, 2010. Accessed online Feb. 10, 2010