Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Modest snack changes can have dividends

Here is something that I think is important for all our kids. All too often kids don't get enough fruits and fresh veggies which aid in combating obesity. This is one way to help.


Modest snack changes can have dividends
Source: UPI

DAVIS, Calif. (UPI) -- Modest changes in the kinds of snacks offered at after-school programs can also have a significant positive impact on children's diets, says a U.S. expert.

University of California at Davis researchers suggests that a healthy snack menu in an after-school program can help low-income children -- those at highest risk of obesity -- consume more fruit and less saturated fat.

"Even though school food programs have very limited budgets, this study suggests that with leadership and a little bit of political will, food service for kids really can be improved," said study author Diana Cassady, an assistant professor of public health sciences.

The researchers analyzed changing a snack from a brownie and milk to animal crackers and grape juice; or a peach cup and graham crackers replaced with peanut butter crackers and an apple.

Cassady and colleagues compared the nutritional content of the new menu of 17 snacks with that of the old menu of 15 snacks. They found that the new menu boosted the children's daily servings of fruit by 83 percent, reduced their daily consumption of saturated fat by 42 percent and cut their overall calorie intake by 7 percent, according to the study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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