Why should I offer my child low-fat snacks?

There are many reasons why it might be right for your child to start eating a lower fat diet. Talk with a dietitian or your doctor to decide if your child should be eating a low-fat diet. Here are some suggestions to help decrease fat in your child's diet.

When your child asks for a high-fat food, offer a lower-fat choice instead:

  • Instead of regular chips, try pretzels or baked chips.
  • Instead of meat pizza, try veggie pizza made with low-fat cheese.
  • Instead of hamburger, try grilled chicken sandwich or lean ground turkey breast burger.
  • Instead of fried chicken fingers, try grilled chicken slices.
  • Instead of french fries, try baked potato wedges.
  • Instead of candy pieces, try dried fruit pieces.
  • Instead of candy bars, try low-fat granola bars.
  • Instead of ice cream, try fat-free frozen yogurt or low-fat sherbet.

Give your child low-fat snacks during the day.

Healthy and fun snack ideas:

  • Mini-pizza: Top English muffins with tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, and vegetables. Broil until cheese melts.
  • Sandwich creations: Cut any sandwich (made with whole wheat bread, low-fat cheese, lean meats, and fat-free dressings or mustard) with cookie cutters.
  • Fruit smoothie: Blend low-fat yogurt, banana, juice, and ice together.
  • Banana pops: Peel banana, dip in low-fat or fat-free yogurt, roll in crushed breakfast cereal, then freeze.
  • Apple smiles: Spread fat-free caramel dip onto apple wedges and use marshmallows and/or raisins for teeth.
  • Pineapple chunks or diced peaches with fat-free cottage cheese

Other quick snack ideas:

  • Graham crackers
  • Whole wheat crackers and low-fat cheese
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, mixed fruit
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • Fat-free pudding snacks
  • Frozen fruit sorbet

Use low-fat or fat-free foods in your home, including the following:

  • Fat-free dairy products such as skim milk, fat-free cheese, fat-free yogurt, and fat-free cottage cheese
  • Low-fat or fat-free salad dressings, vegetable cooking spray
  • Condiments such as mustard, ketchup, and BBQ sauce instead of mayonnaise, butter, or margarine
  • Lean lunch meats such as lean ham, turkey, or chicken

Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks instead of cakes, cookies, or candies.