The lazy days of summer can often result in a too-casual, graze-all-day approach to eating. Connie Evers, a registered dietitian, founder of NutritionForKids.com and author of “How to Teach Nutrition to Kids,” has developed some simple tips for parents to help break bad on-the-go eating cycles as well as ideas for smart snacking options this summer.

1 — Make half your grains whole. Whole grains make a valuable addition to meals and snacks throughout the day. In fact, the USDA recommends making half the grains you consume whole grains, which haven’t been refined and therefore still contain dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins. That recommendation is important to note, as a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that whole grain consumption was low across the board and that children who consumed the most servings of whole grains had higher nutrient intake and better diets overall.(1)

In recognition of the benefits that whole grains offer, Ore-Ida® Bagel Bites® brand recently incorporated whole grains into its popular line of mini-bagel pizza snacks. To help families make the most of snack time, the Bagel Bites brand also launched a pledge to “Snack Simply” this summer that asserts the importance of simple, wholesome ingredients and offers valuable snack-time tips. For each parent who takes the pledge at http://www.snacksimplypledge.com, the Bagel Bites brand will donate $1 (up to $50,000) to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help promote wholesome nutrition in youth programs and will also offer a $1 coupon off Bagel Bites snacks.

2 — Prepare for on-the-go snacking.  Hungry kids and traffic jams don’t mix! Make sure to keep fresh or dried fruit, water bottles, and trail mix stashed in your car for those times that you can’t get home right away and need a snack to hold you over.

3 — Keep snacking simple. Parents don’t need to spend more than 10 minutes preparing a good-for-you, wholesome snack that kids will love. If the snack takes more than 10 minutes to prepare, it’s likely too complicated and chances are your kids won’t like it! When choosing nutritious snacks for kids, those that have fewer, simple ingredients are always the better choices. Bagel Bites snacks are simple to make and ready to go in less than 10 minutes.

4 — Adopt the “Easy to See, Easy to Reach” approach. When a child walks into the kitchen, what catches his or her eye? Make sure to keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter. Stock the pantry, fridge and freezer with plenty of tempting wholesome choices strategically placed at eye-level for your child.

You can find more of Connie’s tips and information about the Bagel Bites campaign at http://www.snacksimplypledge.com. More information is also available at www.bagelbites.com.

(1)  O’Neil CE, Nicklas TA, ZanovecM,Cho SS, Kleinman R., Consumption of whole grains is associated with improved diet quality and nutrient intake in children and adolescents: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. Public Health Nutr. 2011 Feb;14(2):347-55. Epub 2010 Oct 6.



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