What is a good snack?

A snack, by definition, is a small meal in between heavier meals. In order for it to be a good snack, it must pass the Quality/Quantity/Timing test.

Quality – Natural ingredients, no preservatives or sugar added
Quantity – Small amount
Timing – Only once per day

For children and even adults, the best time of day for a snack is after school. Make the after-school snacks count by planning and preparing them at home.

Making your fresh and frozen fruit puree:  

Fresh Fruit Yogurt Puree– You’ll need  one bag of frozen berries (strawberries and blackberries) and 1 fresh banana
– Additional fresh fruit of your choice may be added
– Place all the fruit in a saucepan
– Add one tablespoon of olive oil
– Cook on low heat for about 25 minutes
– Serve over Graham crackers, whole wheat bread or mix with plain yogurt to make your own fruit yogurt

Nutritional benefits:

This recipe provides two servings of fruit and, if added to plain yogurt, one serving of calcium.

Eat This, Not That:

Instead of a yogurt with processed fruit on the bottom such as Danon Fruit on the Bottom in Peach try this recipe with low-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. While Danon Fruit on the Bottom contains protein, it is loaded with sugars and artifical flavors.

  • 9 grams of protein: Protein helps build lean muscles and satisfies until you eat your next meal but you can find more protein in Greek yogurt. Fage non-fat Greek yogurt has double the protein with 18 grams!
  • 0.5 grams of fiber: This brand of yogurt actually contains little fruit and not very much fiber. You can get more fiber from real fruit. Fiber helps to lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • 26 grams of sugar: Too much sugar will spike your blood sugar and make you crash later. By reducing sugar, you will feel more alert and less tired as the day continues.  A low-fat yogurt with no sugar added is a much better choice!

 

 

Find more healthy snack ideas in my new book!

In my book, The Step Up Diet, I provide a step-by-step plan to help families experience what it is like to eat the right way. The Step Up Diet teaches the body and the brain to recognize what types of food are healthy to eat, and to establish a healthy eating schedule. By focusing on one step—one segment of the day—at a time, the ultimate goal becomes less overwhelming and more manageable, helping us stay on target with our goals of eating healthier in 2013.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.