Tuesday, October 30 2012, 05:47 PM MDT
Difference Between A Snack and A Treat
(CNN) Halloween is right around the corner and children will be eating plenty of treats, but experts say kids need to know the difference between treats and snacks.
When the Hartman kids get home from school the first thing they do is get something to eat, but instead of going for healthy snacks, they often ask for sugary treats.
It's an uphill battle for many parents because lots of the so-called snack foods are really treats – goodies packed with added sugar or fat.
Snacks should be healthy mini-meals that tie kids over between regular meals.
Registered dietitian Julie Schwartz offers Hartman lots of healthy snack ideas.
“Fruit with yogurt, maybe whole grain crackers and low fat cheese and something like a veggie and a dip of hummus,” Schwartz suggests. She says one of the best ways to tell if a food is a snack or treat is to read nutrition labels. “Try to avoid sugar in the top 3 ingredients. Any kind of sugar, or if it's listed 3 different times,” Schwartz says.
Hartman is shopping for healthier snacks now, and when she gets push back from her kids, she just says no.
Based on the nutrition labels on popular candies, the average child accumulates 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)