Pediatrician: Kids' snacks should always have some benefit - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Pediatrician: Kids' snacks should always have some benefit

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Going back to school -- is that good or bad when it comes to our kids' nutrition?  We asked a local pediatrician, who said he fights a food battle every day with three small warriors.

Even Dr. Marcus DeGraw with St. John Providence Health System admitted getting kids to eat right is not an easy job.  The good news is returning to school can bring a return to structure.

"It gives them a lot of structure, keeps them busy throughout the day so they're not snacking all the time like they can during the summer."

In fact, new Department of Agriculture guidelines are kicking in this fall, which means schools must offer more fruits, veggies, whole grains and low fat dairy.  It's a step in the right direction said Dr. DeGraw, who believes a serving of low fat chocolate milk is a pretty good option.

"So there's sugar there, but it's also balanced with the fact that it's milk, so you start with a healthy base, and then the fact that the chocolate milk has a high level of protein, calcium and phosphorus with it helps balance out that calorie risk."

Sugary drinks and snacks can be huge empty calorie culprits when you're trying to pack lunches or balance the after school hustle and bustle.  Here's a lesson for kids and adults.  Before school even starts, every time you eat or drink something, it should have some benefit.

"If you give your child a snack and you look at it and you say is there anything healthy in this at all like Doritos or Cheetos or Fritos, there's nothing healthy there, then it shouldn't be a mainstay for their snacking or their lunches."

It's called food with function, and remember if you don't want your kids eating the junk food, don't even bring it into your house.

Some simple snack ideas include carrots with ranch, apples with peanut butter, celery with cream cheese.  Click here for some others.

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