Claudann Jones

Do your kids come in from school and make a beeline to the kitchen? If so, how can you can make sure they enjoy a snack while still saving room for a healthy dinner?

Depending on children’s age and after-school routine, parents might not always be able to control what their kids eat in the late afternoon. These steps can guide kids to after-school snacks that will be satisfying and still leave room for a nutritious dinner.

Put yourself in your kids’ shoes and consider their eating schedules on a normal weekday. Some younger kids may have a midmorning snack, but older school-age kids won’t. Find out what the schedule is, and this will help you figure out how hungry your kids will be when they get home.

Come up with a list of healthy options together and be sure to include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you can, take your kids along to the grocery store and spend some time reading the nutrition facts labels and comparing products.

Together, choose snacks that are low in sugar, fat and salt. Being involved in the process makes it more likely that kids will learn to make healthy food choices.

Kids are more likely to eat what’s handy. That’s where you come in. Make healthy snacks easily available by packing them in their lunchboxes or backpacks or by having them visible and ready-to-eat at home.

For more information, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension agent for family and community health at 903-590-2980 or email at Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County.

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