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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snack Right

Healthy snack for children

Although children need to eat a lot, they cannot do so at one sitting because their stomachs are small. Furthermore, betwen the ages of one and six years, children are usually less interested in food.

It is also during this time when they often develop irregular eating patterns. They may become bored with their usual foods or may want the same food every day.

Do not fret though, about your child's irregular eating pattern; there is also no need to fight it. Below are some ways by which you can work around it so that he still gets the nutrients his growing body needs.

* Do not force him to eat more than what he can. Forcing him will put him off food even more.

* Instead of eating three main meals, offer him five to six mini meals or snacks throughout day.

* Stock up on a wide variety of health foods from the various food groups and let him help himself from the healthy choices that are available to him.

* When planning snacks, mix and match the nutrients. Choose snacks that feature foods from at least two different levels of the food pyramid.

* Make snacks look fun, exciting and attractive.

* Involve him in the planning and shopping of foods that will become his snacks.

* Depending on his age, use pictures and/or words to make charts with lists of foods within each food group and teach him to select foods from two diferent charts when choosing his snacks.

* Involve him in the preparation. Many snacks are simple enough for him to help prepare them.

Here are some suggestions for healthy snacks to feed your youngster.

Eight Easy TO Prepare Snacks

Good snacks, or nutrient-dense snacks, are not neccessarily difficult to prepare and need not be time-consuming. The following are eight quick-and-easy suggestions.

1. Easy Quesadillas

Easy Quesadillas

On a whole-wheat tortilla, add shredded light cheese, black beans, shredded skinless roasted chicken, and a small amout of low fat sour cream. Fold tortilla in half and warm over a heated, non-greased pan, pressing down flat into the pan. Flip over, repeat and then cut into triangles before serving.

2. Pita Parcels
Use half a pita pocket. Stuff some shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced roasted chicken or chopped hard-boilded eggs and drizzle with mayonnaise.

3. Pizza Bread
Spread pasta sauce on one side of the bread. Lay a slice of low fat chedder cheese and cover with your childs's choice of topping - sliced mushroom, tuna flakes, diced roasted chicken etc. - and toast in a heated oven.

4. Crepe Rolls
Spread some whipped potato over a piece of crepe, lay a piece of seaweed over it and spread some tuna salad over the seaweed. Roll and cut to bite- size portions.

Crepe Rolls

5. Deli Delight
On a colourful plate, arrange whole-grain crackers, low fat cheese, and skinless roasted chicken or turkey.

6. Fruit and Vegetable Platter and Dip
Arrange an assortment of sliced fruits (apples, bananas, peaches, oranges, pineapples, etc.) or vegetables (carrots, cucumber, celery, olives, etc). Serve with cottage cheese or vanilla yoghurt sprinked with cinnamon.

Vegetable Platter and Dip

7. Banana Roll-ups
Peel and cut a banana in half and skewer onto a long cocktail stick. Roll in crushed cereal and sprinkle with cinnamon. Freeze for half and hour before serving.

8. Fresh Fruit Smoothies
Blend a banana, 3/4 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup low fat milk, and 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yoghurt. Add ice and blend to desired consistency.

Fruit Smoothies

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