Not All Snacking Is Created Equal

If your children can’t tear themselves away from snacks, they’re not alone. Snacks provide more than a fourth of the calories that American children consume, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Snacking can lead to weight gain or obesity because those tidbits aren’t satisfying enough to replace meals but simply add to the daily caloric intake. In addition, children may have no idea how much they’re munching, according to research.

But smart snacking can be healthful. Make it the house rule that kids can’t snack while watching television. Keep fresh fruit and cut-up vegetables available for vitamin-rich, low-calorie snacks, and if you do buy chips and cookies, opt for single-serve packages.