In The Know When On The Go

Planning ahead can help keep snack time a healthy time

Football. Band. Cheerleading. Spelling bee.

Whatever activities your children might be into, they are going to need practice. Most practice time occurs somewhere between the end of the school day and dinnertime, making it inevitable for busy students to need a snack while they’re on-the-go. Hunger doesn’t always lead to the smartest choices, so planning ahead is a parent’s best practice.

“My strongest advice would be to have snacks prepared either in the morning or the day before,” says Kelley Stewart, an Exercise Specialist at St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Wellness Center. “If children know that they are going to sports practice, or if they know that their schedule may not get them home for a while after school, the best way to make a smart choice is to prepare the snack beforehand with their parent’s help.”

Stewart recommends snacks that are easy to grab and eat but that don’t contain excess fat and sugar. Apples, carrots, celery sticks, peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread, almonds, and even pretzel sticks are alternative to candy bars and chips. Stewart has found that her children don’t really care what kind of snack they have, as long as it’s easy for them to grab when they want it.

As every parent knows, schedules have a way of needing sudden adjustment, and often the solution for rushed families is a stop at a fast-food restaurant. Stewart concedes that this will happen from time to time, but she says there is still a way to plan ahead.

“Instead of looking over the menu and deciding what to get at that moment, I recommend that you decide before even walking in the door that you will only consider the lower-calorie snacks,” Stewart says. “So, for example, if you’re going to McDonald’s, think about what options they have for you besides the burgers or fries. They have apples and items like the snack wraps, which aren’t as high in calories.”

Whether at home or in a restaurant, parents can provide a model to their children for eating healthy, even on-the-go.

“Let your kids see you eating things like celery sticks first,” Stewart says. “So when they find them in their snack bag, they’re not thinking, ‘Wait, where’s my Snickers?’”
  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000