Experts Offer Tips For Healthy After-School Snacks

From the moment they get home from school, it is not homework that is top of mind for children, it is often hunger.

Dieticians say quick, nutritious and tasty snacks can be easy with a little planning, 10TV's Tracy Townsend reported.

Registered dietician Lori Mooney said families must make planning a priority.

"We're not thinking ahead, we're in such a fast-paced society where we are all so busy," Mooney said. "We have kids in a number of different athletic opportunities that are out there. We're in so many different program-oriented things we're not allowing time to just sit at the table together as a family and eat."

Mooney suggests quick grab-and-go options including rotisserie chickens, frozen veggies or side dishes.

"There's a lot of partially-prepared foods that you can get and then add to it, whether it's just add the meat to a dried portion of a rice dish or a noodle dish and you're good to go," Mooney said.

A snack or quick meal for lunch or dinner should also include dairy, whether it is milk, yogurt or cheese, experts said.

Mooney also advises that parents make it a goal to have vegetables or fruits fill half the plate.

"It often takes 10 to 15 times of offering an item before a child will actually eat it and enjoy eating it," Mooney said. "So one of the philosophies that we employ at the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition is to encourage children to take three bites of a food and offer it 10 different times."

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