Family-Centered Eating & Healthy Snacks

Family-Centered Eating and Healthy Snacks

In today’s frantic, busy world have the days of family dinners been all but lost? Do your kids’ after school activities consume your weeknights; leaving little time for cooking, let alone actually sitting down together to enjoy a meal?

Recent news reports over the last school year indicated that school age children “most likely” (or 4 out of 5 nights) had activities after the school day was over. Most of these would take place after school from 4:00pm until 7:00pm. It’s easy to figure out that the majority of children involved in after school activities never have dinner with their families on school nights. The possibility of eating together as a family for lunch or dinner during the weekend is much more likely, with families taking that time to finally catch up following busy weeks.

Teens Unhealthy Refrigerator Snacks

The concern here, if there is one, is that during the week most children will grab from the refrigerator or pantry “whatever” is available—healthy or not. And, in fact, most families during the week will probably not prepare homemade meals, but rather will use up what is left in the refrigerator or worse, resort to fast food.

Technically, a meal should be around 300-500 calories and a snack should be about 200 calories. To make sure that children, and adults alike, are getting proper nutrition during those frantic school days, it may be a good idea to incorporate more pre-planned healthy snacks. Foods that are easy to prepare ahead of time and can be kept in the pantry or the refrigerator as a “grab and go” option for busy families always headed to the next activity.


The following is a list of good snacks that I have used with members for some time:

1 cup non-fat yogurt 15-200 30 percent of calcium
1 banana and 1 juice box 230 150 percent of vitamin C30 percent of vitamin B-6
1 apple and 1 ounce non-fat string cheese 125 8 grams protein25 percent of calcuim
half bagel with 1 tablespoon peanut butter 200 7 grams of protein20 percent of niacin
homemade bran muffin and tea 130 2.5 grams of fiber
1 large pretzel and 8 ounces of orange juice 170 150 percent of vitamin C
2 apple cinnamon rice cakes with 1 tablespoon non-fat cream cheese 117 2 percent calcium2 percent vitamin A
3 graham crackers and 1 orange 150 >100 percent of vitamin C4 grams of fiber
1 cup non-fat cottage cheese and 4 whole wheat crackers 212 30 percent of vitamin B-6
10 percent of calcuim
1 slice deli turkey breast and 1 slice low-fat cheese wrapped around 1 carrot 150 15 grams of protein
200 percent of vitamin A
¾ cup raisin bran with 1 cup skim milk 200 4 grams of fiber25 percent of iron
hard boiled egg, sweet red pepper strips, and 1 fat-free oatmeal cookie 120 6 grams of protein
80 percent vitamin C
2 tablespoons each raisins and walnuts, ¼ cup cherrios 170 omega-3 fatty acids10 percent of vitamin E
1 cup light soy milk and 1 fat-free apricot breakfast bar 220 5 grams of protein
3 grams of fiberphytoestrogens

For more information, please contact me regarding our “All in the Family” program available now by appointment at all  Elite club locations.

Rita Larsen Registered Dietitian at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor

Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.

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