Healthy snacks for school

August 21, 2009 3:46:49 PM PDT
One hundred extra calories a day makes you gain a pound every month. With all the calories laden fatty snacks a student has available to him and her this fall, what can a parent do to keep their weight under control? Here are some tips.

Tanya Fly has her hands full raising two boys, Jora, 9, and Hunter, 6. Keeping them eating healthy snacks is a challenge because kids face vending machines with candy and sodas when school starts again.

"If you need 2000 calories to maintain your weight, then eating a candy bar and a soda can add up to 500 calories," dr. Stephen Turner of Long Island College Hospital explained.

So Tanya regularly talks to the boys about what they like to eat.

"What I think I've gotten, 'I know they like this,' and three months from now 'I don't like that anymore," Fly said.

The boys know and like eating healthy foods, but need guidance to other things.

Celery with peanut butter is something the boys like. Air-popped popcorn with a zero calorie butter spray could be another. Think of low-fat milk and yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, and no sugar added apple sauce. Exercise is also important.

Parents can set an example. Even something as simple as getting off the subway one stop early and walking the rest of the way home can help.

The bottom line for healthy snacking? Parents are the role model.

"At the end of the day, they're not going to do as I say. They're going to do what they see me do," Fly said,

Pizza? The kids used to eat it, but now they make it at home from pita bread, a bit of cheese and even a bit of pepperoni.

What's Hunter like a lot? Oreos! The good news is his mom and dr. Turner say that after he eats a healthy dessert, one Oreo won't hurt.


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