Q:

What are some heart-healthy snacks for kids?

A:

Quick Answer

Heart-healthy snacks for kids include fresh fruits and vegetables, unsalted nuts, and low- or fat-free versions of popular processed snacks. Drinks that are low in sodium, fat and sugar are also heart-healthy choices.

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Full Answer

Heart-healthy snacks include fat-free or low-fat whole grain crackers and unsalted rice cakes, and unsalted sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds. Fat-free or low-fat cheese sticks and low-fat fruit yogurt with no added sugar are also healthy choices, as are celery sticks and carrots. For a sweeter snack, heart-healthy options include raisins and other dried fruits; fresh apples, orange slices and bananas; canned fruit in its own juice with no added sugar; baked apples; frozen bananas and grapes, and sugar-free ice pops rather than ice cream. Healthy beverage choices include water, low- or no-fat milk, fruit juice with no added sugar or other ingredients, and low-sodium vegetable juices.

The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of foods in general, of as many different colors as possible, such as blueberries, red bell peppers and cherry or grape tomatoes as snacks. Making healthy choices fun and attractive for kids is as easy as adding fruits and vegetables to snacks they like, such as smoothies, or letting them help make homemade, healthier versions of store-bought treats.

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