WebMD Town Hall: Healthy Snacks for Kids

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Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
Susan on WebMD asks, "My 12 year old, 5 foot 7 inch son, Nick, is always hungry. He eats well at mealtime, but an hour later, he's asking for a snack. Can you suggest some quick, easy, and healthy snacks?

Hansa Bhargava, MD
Absolutely. Well, I think a lot of people with teenagers and kids who are tall feel that way, I'm sure many families in this audience. It's really important for kids to eat healthy like Mrs. Obama was talking about. Often what you can do is combine a fruit or a vegetable with a protein and that actually gives them the nutrients they need and gives them the energy they need to go forward. Also, it's important to make sure that they're getting a variety of fruits and vegetables as well. Did you have anything to add to that?

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
I think I would add that the winning combination is protein and fiber, so you get fiber from fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and protein sources are dairy and beans and nuts and eggs, and if you have that winning combination, it fills you up and so you'll the 12 year old will go a little longer, but also it kind of crowds out the foods that are maybe less healthy. So it's important to always think of that winning combination at snack and at meals.