Submitted by: Danielle Labonté RD, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
With the school year starting back up, so are sports, clubs and other activities. Often foods that go along with these activities are ones we would consider to be a treat, like ice cream, chocolate bars, donuts and popsicles. While enjoying an occasional treat is part of a healthy eating pattern, it is important to consider how often children actually have these treats. Kids might have many opportunities for treats throughout their day, and having these foods too often may bump out healthier foods that provide the nutrients they need to be healthy, feel good and perform their best.
If you want to bring snacks to activities and events for kids who may be hungry, offer fruit and vegetables, unsweetened applesauce cups, yogurt, whole grain granola bars, or whole grain crackers with cheese cubes. Remember to wash fruit and vegetables under cold running water before serving and to keep foods safe by using a cooler with ice packs. Water is a great drink of choice for everyone.
When it comes to fundraising for after school activities, consider fundraisers that do not involve food. For example, instead of things like chocolate bars or candy, try selling reusable water bottles or hats with your team or club’s logo. For more information, visit the Health Unit’s website at healthunit.org, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or call 1-800-660-5853.