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Kids

Kids Nutrition…Snack Showdown

Snacks are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. They can fill in gaps left from meals and offer an opportunity for your child to enjoy a variety of foods. As the nutritional gatekeeper of the home it is important that parents provide a variety of healthy options – but it can be hard. There are many choices when shopping the grocery aisles, then there’s the matter of what you child will actually eat!

We are going to take a birds-eye view at some common snacks and provide guidelines that may be helpful when loading up your pantry.  All information comes from our Registered Dietitian.

  • Limit highly processed foods – choosing fresh/whole foods when available
  • Limit “sweet” items, including drinks/juice
  • Take time during meals/snacks to educate kids about healthy choices
  • Looking at the label:
    • Aim for snacks that provide less than 200 calories
    • Fat should be less than 35% of the food’s total calories
      • Example: If a snack has 200 calories, the total calories from fat should be no more than 70 (200 cals x 0.35 = 70)
    • Sugar should be less than 35% of the food’s total calories
      • Example: If a snack has 200 calories, the food should have no more than 17 grams of sugar ((200 cals x 0.35)/4) = 17.5grams)

 

PretzelsVSGoldfish
Nutrient Rundown:

1 ounce =

108 cals; 0.8g fat; 23g carbs; <1g fiber; <1g sugar; 4g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

1 ounces =

140 cals; 5g fat; 20g carbs; <1g fiber; <1g sugar; 4g pro

Winner: Pretzels! While neither option offers a ton of nutrition, pretzels are lower in calories and fat. To round out the snack add a source of protein such as cheese or yogurt.

 

Fruit SnacksVSRaisins
Nutrient Rundown:

1 pouch =

80 cals; 0g fat; 19 g carbs; 0g fiber; 13g sugar

Nutrient Rundown:

1/8 cup =

65 cals; 0g fat; 15g carbs; 1g fiber; 14.5g sugar

Winner: Raisins! Both items are high in sugar but it is the source of sugar that makes the difference. Raisins’ sugar comes from the natural sugar found in the food but fruit snacks are loaded with added sugars like corn syrup.

 

Veggie StrawsVSPotato Chips
Nutrient Rundown:

1 ounce =

130 cals; 7g fat; 16g carbs; <1g fiber; <1g sugar; <1g protein

Nutrient Rundown:

1 ounces =

153 cals; 3g fat; 14g carbs; 1.2g fiber; 1.15g sugar; 2g pro

Winner: Tie! The veggie straws offer fewer calories but more fat that regular potato chips. In small portions both could be offered, however, neither are a healthy snack option to include on a regular basis.

 

GoGo Squeeze PacksVSRegular Apple Sauce
Nutrient Rundown:

1 pouch (90g) =

60 cals; 0.5g fat; 14g carbs; 1g fiber; 13g sugar; 0g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

100g =

68 cals; 0.2g fat; 17g sugar; 1.2g fiber; 15g sugar

Winner: Tie! Both are great snack choices and offer a low calorie snack with some extra vitamins and minerals. Be sure to check out the ingredients for no added sugars.

 

LunchablesVSCheese, crackers, deli meat, grapes, small cookie
Nutrient Rundown:

370 cals; 16g fat; 40 g carbs; <1g fiber; 20g sugar; 15g protein

Nutrient Rundown:

365 cals; 17g fat; 23g carbs; 4g fiber; 6g sugar; 27g pro

Winner: Homemade lunchable! By creating the meal at home you are cutting the carbs in half and creating a dish that offers 1.5 teaspoons of sugar instead of a whopping 5 teaspoons!

 

Quaker Chewy Granola BarVSKids ZBar
Nutrient Rundown:

1 bar =

100 cals; 3.5g fat; 17g carbs; 7g sugar; <1g fiber; 1g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

1 bar =

130 cals; 3.5g fat; 24g carbs; 12g sugar; 3g fiber; 2g pro

Winner: Zbar by a nose! Zbar offers slightly more fiber and protein but is higher in sugar. When looking at the ingredients the Zbar does offer more “organic” ingredients. When choosing a granola bar be sure to choose one with no corn syrup and limited sugars.

 

Apple JacksVSKashi Heart to Heart
Nutrient Rundown:

1 cup =

117 cals; 0.6g fat; 27g carbs; 14.7g sugar; <1g fiber; <1g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

1 cup =

120 cals; 1/5g fat; 26g carbs; 4g fiber; 5g sugar; 4g pro

Winner: Kashi Heart to Heart! With more fiber and sugar the heart to heart cereal makes a great addition to yogurt, milk, or enjoy it alone!

 

Mini Bagel w/ nut butterVSBlueberry mini muffin
Nutrient Rundown:

1 bagel w/ 1 Tbsp p.b =

202 cals; 9.5g fat; 24g carbs; 2g fiber; 4g sugar; 7g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

1 pouch =

250 cals; 14g fat; 29g carbs; <1g fiber; 17g sugar; 3g prot

Winner: Mini bagel with peanut butter! With fewer calories, less fat, less sugar, and more protein, the mini bagel is the clear winner. Boost its nutrition by adding a few blueberries or slices of banana.

 

Teddy GrahamsVSGraham Crackers
Nutrient Rundown:

1 pouch =

150 cals; 5g fat; 26g carbs; 1g fiber; 10g sugar; 2g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

2 cracker sheets =

130 cals; 3g fat; 25g carbs; 2 g fiber; 8g sugar; 2g pro

Winner: Graham Crackers! While the difference is subtle, graham crackers offer fewer calories, less fat and less sugar. Top it off with some nut butter and fruit for a well-rounded snack

 

Greek YogurtVSRegular Yogurt
Nutrient Rundown:

6 ounces =

90 cals; 0g fat; 5g carbs; 5g sugar; 18g protein

Nutrient Rundown:

6 ounces =

96 cals; 0g fat; 12g carbs; 12g sugars; 12g protein

Winner: Greek yogurt! With less carbs and sugar Greek yogurt is the best choice. Be aware when buying heavily flavored yogurts (regular or Greek) because that can really increase the sugar content of your healthy snack.

 

Simply GogurtVSGogurt
Nutrient Rundown:

1 tube =

70 cals; 0.5g fat; 13g carbs; 0g fiber; 10g sugar; 2g pro

Nutrient Rundown:

1 tube =

70 cals; 0.5g; 13g carbs; 0g fiber; 10g sugar; 2g protein

Winner: Simply Gogurts! From the food label you can see the nutrition is almost identical, however, dig deeper into the ingredients and you will find the difference. These snacks have no artificial flavors or colors and no high fructose corn syrup.

 

DanimalsVSDrinkable Yogurt (Stonyfield)
Nutrient Rundown:

1 bottle =

60 cals; 0.5g fat; 10g carbs; 10g sugar; 2g protein

Nutrient Rundown:

1 bottle =

180 cals; 7g fat; 23g carbs; 22g sugar; 6g pro

Winner: It’s a toss up! While the drinkable yogurt has more calories, fat, and sugar it also offers more vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the drinkable yogurt has more natural ingredients and its sugar comes from milk instead of added sugars. If your child is choosing smoothies/drinkable yogurts on a regular basis you may be better served to choose the Danimals with less calories and sugar; however, if you find this is a less common snack upgrade to the drinkable yogurt.



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