Healthy After School Snack Ideas to Combat Teen Obesity

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What Kind of After School Snack Ideas Do You Have In Mind

School is back in session and of course, after school snack ideas must be planned. Childhood obesity is on the rise partially because of all of the soda machines in our schools and vending machines filled with junk food that are available to our growing kids. So what is a parent to do? First, here are some statistics.

Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Did you see the Oprah Winfrey Show on the growing epidemic of child and teen obesity? Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese – a number that has tripled since 1980. That’s a lot of kids! Did you also know that over the last 30 years the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children ages 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years (“Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002”; Oct. 6, 2004). These are serious numbers. The sad part about this is that we have control over what our kids eat.

Healthy After School Snack Ideas

A lot of parents work so when their kids come home, they rummage through the refrigerator for anything quick to eat (i.e., potato chips, ice cream, donuts) plop down in front of their computer and start playing video games for hours on end. This sedentary behavior, coupled with poor after school snack ideas is a major cause of childhood obesity. So what can parents do so that they can implement better after school snack ideas? Well, first, I think parents should stock their refrigerators with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. That doesn’t mean get rid of ALL the junk food, just gradually reduce the amount that is in your house.

For Every Purchase of Junk Food, Buy Healthy Snack Foods

How does that translate into actual after school snack ideas? Well, for every item purchased that is considered junk food, buy 2 items of fresh fruit, or cut up veggies. For every bottle of soda, buy 1 bottle of fresh orange juice. Leave these fresh fruit out on the counter so that your kids can start making better choices. After a while your kids will start to come up with their own healthier after school snack ideas! Here are some ideas – For a frothy milkshake, buy low fat milk, chocolate powder, 1 tablespoon of wheat germ, and ice cubes and blend them in a blender. Your kids will get their fix of chocolate while have low fat milk, and a healthy dose of vitamin E from wheat germ.

A Word About Exercise

A good diet will do nothing if you don’t exercise! Exercise is an important aspect in combating obesity. We’re not talking running marathons! Simply walking instead of driving, or walking up stairs instead of taking the escalator. Using 2 pound weights to build some muscle can go a long way to becoming leaner. It’s extremely difficult of kids, teens and even adults to give up sweets completely and start exercising – especially when they’ve been conditioned to eating high fat sugary foods and leading sedentary lives, but you can gradually ease yourself and your child into a more active healthy lifestyle. For more sugar-free snacks and other low fat ideas as well as easy to use exercise gear, please click on the link below where you will be linked to a variety of sugar-free, low-fat chocolates and cookies that satisfy your sweet tooth and that’s diabetic friendly. You will also find an array of affordable exercise equipment and exercise gear to kick start your child’s school year.

Source Article by Shalisha Alston

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