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Posted by Dawn Lerman/Aka The Snacking Mama

Demonstrate to your kids that a snack is different from a treat. Even though cupcakes and cookies may be their favorites, kids need to be able to distinguish the difference and learn that these are treats for special occasions and not snacks that will power them through the day.

If kids eat a processed sweet snack every time their stomachs grumble, they will not only think this can become a regular part of their diet, but they will also be hungry again in no time flat. Good snacks should contain a protein, complex carbohydrates, and a healthy fat. This may sound daunting at first, but this combination can be achieved in many easy snacks. Whether you are at convenience store, Starbucks, or a grocery store, a smart snack is attainable if you know the formula.

Protein + Complex Carbohydrates + Healthy Fat = Healthy Well-Behaved Kids

Make sure to take this list with you when you are out and about. These days, it is pretty easy to find something from each of these columns. Have your nieces and nephews circle and choose one item from each column to make a winning combination. By involving them in the process of choosing healthy snacks, they can transition into smart snacking and realize how much better they feel with these easy diet changes.

*Use this easy chart to come up with creative combinations next time you need an easy, satisfying snack! Just have the kids pick one item from each of the columns below, and they’ll learn how to snack smart.

Protein
Complex carbohydrate
Healthy fat
Peanut butter
Apple slices
Avocado
Almond butter
Orange slices
Olive oil
Sunflower butter
Banana
Coconut oil
Cashew butter
Pear
Mixed nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Apricot
Walnuts
Sunflower seeds
Plum
Cashews
Mixed nuts
Grapefruit
Almonds
Peanuts
Prunes
Pecans
Pine nuts
Broccoli
Macadamia nuts
Cashews
Cauliflower
Hazelnuts
Almonds
Spinach
Brazil nuts
Pistachios
Greens/lettuce
Fish
Chicken
Potatoes
Nut butters
Turkey
Sweet potatoes
 
Beef
Corn
 
Beans
Carrots
 
Hummus
Celery
 
Tofu
Cucumber
 
Eggs
Whole grain bread or English muffin        
 
Quinoa
Whole grain pasta
 
Cheddar cheese sticks        
Rice cakes
 
String cheese
Brown rice

 



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