As a part of the Rockdale Cooperative Extension Office’s summer enrichment program, kids learned the benefits of eating healthy snacks.
“I really liked making the turkey on wheat pinwheels. They were just like mini subs,” said 15-year-old Myora Zantinga. “We learned a lot. I now know you have to check out all the ingredients on the product’s label, whether they are marketed as healthy or not.”
The participants in the program learned how to make turkey and mustard pinwheels on wheat bread, fruit and yogurt parfaits and a healthy cheesecake, made with cream cheese, strawberries and graham crackers.
“It is important that we show our children that not all snacks are bad. Active children require extra calories to fuel their brains, energy and growth. The key is eating the right snacks in the right amount. Give kids smart choices,” said Katie Hiers, who serves as the Family Consumer Agent at the Rockdale office. “If we teach them now, we can help battle against the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by starting here in Rockdale.”
The class also learned how to read labels, how to compare labels and determine the healthier choice, the benefits of physical activity, the importance of washing your hands and even how to properly set a dinner table.
As kids go back to school, Hires says parents can help their children focus on portions and healthy snacking for a healthy body and alert mind.
“What a child eats and how much they eat for snacks has a huge impact on their overall nutrition,” said Hires. “Parents and older family members can teach children that good health and nutrition start with a simple appreciation for quality foods, whether it’s snacks, lunch or dinner.”
Nutritionists recommend snacking on fresh and dried fruits; whole-grain cereals and crackers; nuts; homemade trail mix; peanut and other nut butters; yogurt; vegetable sticks, and pizzas topped with veggies. Avoid processed snacks high in fat and sugar.
Cooperative Extension staff members say the “Snack Attack!” event is part of a larger game plan—to get kids eating healthy, a good habit that can carry over into the new school year an potentially help families eat a little healthier.