Healthy Snacks Help Children Fight Obesity

Snacks of Veggies and Cheese Leave Kids Feeling Fuller Faster

Healthy snacks including veggies and cheese can help take the edge off of kids' between-meal hunger pangs, and may help put a dent in rates of childhood obesity.

In a new study, children who were given cheese and vegetables as a snack ate 72% fewer calories than children who snacked on potato chips, and this effect was even more pronounced among kids who were overweight or obese.

What's more, these kids needed fewer calories to feel full than those who ate chips.

The study included about 200 kids entering third or sixth grades. They were given chips, cheese, veggies, or a combination of veggies and cheese, and allowed to snack freely while watching a 45-minute TV show.

While children offered the veggies-only option took in the fewest calories, those offered the combo snack or only cheese took in about the same number of calories. But either option meant far fewer calories than those who were served potato chips, suggesting that replacing potato chips even with cheese alone may also be an option.

"Eliminating snacking altogether is impractical, and in some cases can backfire," the researchers write. But replacing unhealthy snacks with more nutritious choices such as cheese and veggies may result in less backlash.

The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: WebMD Health News
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