Keri Glassman's approach to kids' snacks comes down to this simple message: Snack time isn't all that different from mealtime. Here, she offers a few simple tips to up the health factor on your kids snacking.
1. Think beyond snack food.
The registered dietician and celebrity nutritionist mom-of-two feeds her own kids anything from whole-wheat crackers and fresh mozzarella to fruit-packed smoothies.
"A lot of people think snacks are snack food that come in a bag—that are just empty calories and don’t really have any nutrients,” Glassman says. "I tell all parents this: Whenever you're eating is a time for them to get nutrients."
2. Promote protein.
Everyone generally needs the same types of nutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) but kids especially need to focus on getting the right balance.
"I see kids not eating enough protein and going for the carby things," Glassman says. "Like a bagel and cream cheese. They’ll grab another cookie, they’ll have the rice and not the salmon. So I really like to make sure they get their protein in."
3. Create a family food philosophy.
So how can parents make sure their kids pass on the cookies and go for that salmon? Glassman recommends having a plan for the food philosphy in your house.
"Most families talk about finances and they talk about how they're going to educate their kids, but they don’t necessarily come up with their own food culture," Glassman explains. "You really need to have the whole family on board with eating a certain way."
She recommends having a discussion with your partner and your kids (if you feel like they're old enough). "You don’t want to have your organic food and be cooking all your foods from scratch and have your husband come home with fast food three times a week, saying, 'I brought this home as a treat.'"
4. Keep your fridge stocked with healthy choices.
And if the kids get a taste for healthy snacks, they'll start to expect a fridge full of nutritious goodies, such as Glassman's go-to's: air-popped popcorn with a sliced apple, guacamole, and any sort of salad.
"Even if I have leftover grassfed steak, I’ll even give them that," Glassman said. "Give them any real food."
Celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman, in partnership with LG InstaView, has some great tips to share about the best foods to fill your fridge, for you and the kids – check out the video above!