Back to School Lunch Line and After-School Snack Choices

Imperial, California - Back to School Lunch Line and After-School Snack Choices:

Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian Diane Dressel offers parents snack options that meet caloric standards, while also taking into account portability, perishability, food allergies and dietary restrictions. Dressel says, “What better time to get kids into healthy eating patterns than at a young age?” and encourages any snack idea to include fruits or vegetables.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Grapes and pretzels
  • Apples and string cheese or baked chips
  • Carrots and fat-free dip
  • Yogurt with strawberries or blueberries

Mayo Clinic dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, offers additional tips. Zeratsky says that while you can't go through the school lunch line with your child, you can offer some guidance ahead of time about making healthy choices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers recommendations for its “Smart Snacks in Schools” proposal, including limiting in-school snacks to 200 calories a day.

As far as after-school snacking goes, Zeratsky suggest putting healthier foods out in the line of sight, such as a bowl of fruit.

For parents with student athletes, remind kids to drink enough water to stay hydrated, perhaps even have them carry a water bottle. Zeratsky says it's also wise to remember their extra physical activity may require more fuel.

If your child must travel for sports, it's also a good idea to send along a healthy snack for after their event.

Check out these healthy recipes. Additional healthy recipes can be found here.

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