7333 E Livingston Ave
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Kids like snacks. Grownups like snacks. Our bodies need energy and nutrients to remain active and healthy, and snacks provide just a perfect opportunity to supply our diets with the necessary vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.

With our busy schedules, sometimes it's difficult to architect a meal that is to provide our bodies with all the essential nutrients. Keep in mind that most children and many adolescents are picky eaters. Therefore, they may not finish the whole meal. Also, young children have small stomachs, so they may not eat enough to satisfy their nutrient needs, making healthy snacks important!

A healthy snack that is filling and satisfying should include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. For example, you may serve cut up fresh vegetables with peanut butter, cheese, or cottage cheese. Add crackers to get carbohydrates. Another option would be fresh fruits served with yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese; or cereals topped with milk or yogurt.

Did you know that one teaspoon of sugar equals four grams? Have you looked at the nutritional information on the box of your favorite cereal? The healthiest cereals are those containing 3 or less grams of sugar per serving. My latest trip to the local supermarket was a brutal awakening when in an aisle of maybe 50 different varieties I found only a handful of low sugar cereals. Excessive sugar consumption leads to cavities and empty calories that result in unwanted weight, so beware! When selecting cereals be an educated consumer: read labels!

Super snacks do not have to be fancy. All they need to accomplish is to help you achieve the goal of getting three servings of dairy products and five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Consider these healthy ideas for powerful snacks:

- Cottage cheese with fruits (peaches or strawberries)

- Crackers with cheese sticks

- Pretzels and cheese cubes

- Fruit/Veggie/Lunch meat Skewer

- Bagel with peanut butter

- A toast with butter and slices of hard-boiled egg

- A muffin and a glass of milk

- Bugs on a log (go to http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/bugs-on-a-log-675737/)

Keep healthy snack foods on hand to help your family meat the daily requirements of nutrients.