Did you know

  • munching on a handful of baby carrots can meet your day's vitamin A needs?
  • preschoolers get nearly one-third of their energy from snacks?
  • a planned snack can help prevent overeating?
  • watching television tends to increase snacking-particularly high-calorie "goodies"?
  • larger snack containers add up? People eat more when the package is bigger!

Source: American Dietetic Association.

with water. For more about oral health, refer to "Your Smile: Sugar and Oral Health " in chapter 5.

Myth: Snacking gets in the way of good nutrition.

Fact: To the contrary, snacks can be part of good nutrition! Simply choose nutrient-rich snacks that fit within your healthful eating plan, perhaps to help fill in the food-group gaps in your day's meals. And choose snacks that help you stay within your discretionary calorie allowance.

Myth: Snacking isn't a good habit for kids to learn. Fact: With their high-energy needs and small stomachs, most children need snacks. And so do teens. Three daily meals often aren't enough to provide all the nutrients and food energy they need. The advice for parents: help children learn good snacking habits. And keep nutrient-rich food-group snacks that kids enjoy on hand and encourage kids to snack to satisfy hunger, without overeating.

Myth: Snacks spoil your appetite. Fact: Eaten two to three hours before meals, a small snack won't ruin your appetite. Snacks may quell hunger pangs so you are less likely to overeat at the next meal.

Myth: Healthful snacking means giving up some fun foods.

Fact: Any food can be eaten as a snack—even sensible amounts of chips, candy, and soft drinks. Again, use MyPyramid with its advice for your "extra" discretionary calories budget as your guide. And remember, the more physically active you are, the bigger your discretionary calorie budget!

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