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‘Try something new’

Krystle Wagner • Aug 31, 2017 at 2:00 PM

After a morning of activities, Tri-Cities Family YMCA day campers anxiously awaited for their afternoon snack.

Throughout the summer, campers tried a variety of healthy snacks. Apple nachos is one of the snacks families can try as they look at healthy options for the upcoming school year, said Erica Phelps, a registered dietician and the Fitness and Wellness director at Tri-Cities Family YMCA

The snack involves apple slices drizzled with honey and topped with granola sprinkles.

“They’re really good,” said 7-year-old Paloma Alamillo.

As families look for ways to incorporate healthy homemade snacks and lunches, Phelps said she encourages parents to engage their children in conversations about healthy choices.

Phelps said that children crave control and independence, so she encourages parents to give their children a choice. For example, give them the option of having their sandwich on bread or on a tortilla shell.

Phelps encourages educating children about balance and boundaries such as a treat at lunch means not having one after dinner.

In Phelps’ family, her children aren’t fans of eating sandwiches, so they have cheese, whole grain crackers, fruit and vegetables for lunch.

One healthy snack choice is making a snack mix with nuts, whole grain cereals, dried fruit and adding in a few chocolate chips or Goldfish crackers. Phelps said it’s one of her favorites, and she uses cereals such as Cheerios, mini-wheats or oatmeal squares, which are kid- and budget-friendly.

During the Tri-Cities Family YMCA summer day camp, children have shown interest in vegetables and hummus. Another favorite has been chips and guacamole.

Phelps said children are likely to try new things if given the opportunity.

After trying the snacks at camp this summer, Brendon Sutton, 7, said he would like to try some apple nachos and chips with guacamole as an after-school snack this year.

Phelps said parents should encourage and expose children to new foods and model healthy behaviors.

“Try something new,” she said.

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