Baseball, picnics and other springtime activities offer a chance to incorporate healthy snacks into your family’s weekly routine.
Instead of reaching for candy and other sugar-filled snacks, try a healthier approach.
University of Georgia Extension offers these tips on reducing or cutting back on sweets for children:
- Use small bowls and plates.
- Split cupcakes and candy bars between children.
- Offer water most of the time.
- Drink 100 percent juice at least once a day.
- Drink fat-free or low-fat milk two to three times a daily.
- Serve pieces of fresh fruit.
- Prepare baked apples and pears.
- Offer a colorful fruit salad.
- Select frozen, 100 percent fruit juice bars.
- Allow your children or grandchildren to help you cook.
- Name the food or dish after the child who helps prepare it such as “Emma’s Very Veggie Soup.”
- Cut food into fun shapes.
- Make funny faces with food.
- Put children’s imagination to work and invent new snacks using ingredients such as dried fruit, unsalted nuts, seeds and low-sugar cereal.
- Play “sugar detective” in the cereal aisle. Teach children to find the total amount of sugar in their favorite cereals and compare them.
- Avoid checkout lanes that display candy, if possible.
- Never offer sweets as rewards. Use encouraging words, hugs and small rewards such as stickers to make a child feel special.
- Sweet treats should be “treats,” not everyday foods.
- Eat sweets occasionally.
Don’t miss your chance to cheer for the Atlanta Hawks on April 4 during Walk Georgia night.
The Hawks will play the Brooklyn Nets at Philips Arena. Walk Georgia participants will have VIP early entry access to watch warmups from 5-6 p.m.
For ticket information, visit www.walkgeorgia.org. The program’s site also offers recipes, fitness tips and more.
Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.