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Nutritionist-Approved Kids' Snacks 

Looking for new ways to make snack time healthy? Top nutrition experts share what they feed their kids.
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Healthy and Homemade

What parent hasn’t heard the words — often said multiple times in a day, in an urgent tone of voice — “I’m huunnngry … can I have a snack?” Keeping those little bellies satisfied can start to seem like a full-time job. It’s no wonder parents often resort to processed foods like energy bars, pretzels and juice boxes to tide kids over. The downside: Many of these standbys contain little more than empty calories. For some bright ideas on how to upgrade snack time, we asked top nutritionists — all moms themselves — for their favorite healthy alternatives. Happily, none of these tasty bites create a pile of dishes, and many can be whipped up by the kiddos themselves.

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Pineapple Salsa

"In the summertime when kids have been outside playing, they crave something refreshing. That's when I put out a bowl of colorful pineapple salsa. To make it, just combine cubed fresh pineapple with some chopped red bell peppers, jalapeno, onion, lime juice and cilantro and serve with whole-grain chips. It's a great way to get them eating more fruits and vegetables! And both pineapple and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C, which helps keep kids’ immune systems healthy." — Jen Haugen, RDN, L.D., a Minnesota-based dietitian and author of  The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden

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Yogurt Parfaits

“A popular item at our high school cafeteria is the yogurt parfait. But it’s also so easy to make homemade and serve as an after-school snack: Just layer some vanilla or plain Greek yogurt with frozen berries and sprinkle with granola. It’s substantial enough to keep kids satisfied between meals, and it’s full of nutrients — calcium and protein from the yogurt, and vitamins and antioxidants from the berries.” — Jen Haugen, RDN, L.D., a Minnesota-based dietitian and author of The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden

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Energy Bites

“One of my favorite midafternoon snacks for kids is an ‘energy bite,’ made from dates and nuts that are mixed in the food processor, rolled into balls and coated in dried coconut. Dates are great because they satisfy the sweet tooth, but they are also packed with fiber and minerals like potassium, iron and magnesium. Energy bites are super-easy to make, and a lot healthier than cookies or store-bought energy bars.” — Anne Danahy, M.S., RDN, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based dietitian and the blogger behind cravingsomethinghealthy.com

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