One of the best ways to remember to eat snacks regularly is to plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Try pre-portioned snacks in small containers or bags so kids and family members can easily access them. Great pre-portioned snacks could consist of cut-up fruit, 1-ounce portions of nuts or seeds, bags of baby carrots, slices of bell peppers, or crackers with low-fat cheese, hummus or peanut butter.
Make sure to pack your purse, workbag, backpack and car with shelf-stable snacks that you can eat on the go when you’re crunched for time.
Keeping snacks visible is a great tool to help remember to eat them. Try leaving a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables on the counter and make sure to wash them right away when you get home from grocery shopping so they’re ready to eat.
Healthy snacks don’t have to cost much and can be affordable if you’re on a budget. Stock up on fruits and vegetables that are in season (and therefore cheaper in price); wash and freeze for a later date.
Also, if the budget is tight, pick one or two healthy snacks and eat those everyday for a week, then switch to a new snack.
One issue some parents experience is getting snacks into their active kids during school hours when snacks are prohibited in classrooms and lockers. If you are concerned, talk to your school staff to see if they will allow your child to have a quick, supervised snack between classes.
Remember, snacks are important for all ages and having regular, portion-controlled, nutrient-rich snacks can be important for adequate nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle.
USDA ARS MyPyramid Intakes and Snacking Patterns of US Adults, from What we Eat in America, NHANES 2007-2008. Dietary Data Brief No. 5 June 2011.