TYLER (KYTX) - The learning and activities don't stop once the school bell rings. Many parents shuttle their kids from school to soccer practice, dance and gymnastics. That's why Dr. Valerie Smith at St. Paul Children's Clinic says a well balanced snack is important.
"Snacks can be a challenge because often times the easiest things to pick up and go are not the healthiest," says Dr. Valerie Smith.
Your kids may be craving cookies, but Dr. Smith says that's not the "best" thing to get them through the rest of their day. "A snack should always contain a fruit or a vegetable and some protein as well because that is what is going to give them the energy they need for their next activity," says Dr. Smith.
As a mom herself, one of Dr. Smith's go-to snacks is string cheese and a Cuties Orange. "String cheese is easy and it is good for you. It's a low fat cheese and it comes in wonderful containers," says Dr. Smith. "It, accompanied with a fruit or vegetable, it is the perfect snack. Cuties Oranges really are the ideal serving size and they peel very easy."
Trail mix is another option, but Dr. Smith suggests making your own and letting your kids pick their favorites. "Kids are always more likely to eat something if they've had a hand in helping to make them or had a choice. One of the things we do is make trail mix with whole grain cereals. Sometimes kids, who don't like whole grain bread, will eat whole grain cereals with dried fruit, dried cherries and raisins. That way, they can put a scoop in of each thing they like in a mixture, but you know everything in it is healthy and they're getting a component of everything they need."
Eating healthy snacks also helps curb overeating at dinner time.