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The Difference Between Snacks and Treats

There is probably a lot of Halloween candy around your house this week. But teaching your kids the difference between snacks and treats can help keep their diet healthy through life.
There is probably a lot of Halloween candy around your house this week.  But teaching your kids the difference between snacks and treats can help keep their diet healthy through life.

When the Hartman kids get home from school, the first thing they do is get something to eat.But instead of going for healthy snacks they often ask for sugary treats. 

"Mommy, can I have some candy? 

AMY:  No

ABBY:  Why?

Amy Hartman: "They argue and always want to go for the junkier snacks and I just try and educate them on the importance of eating healthy," Amy Hartmas says of her daily struggle with her kids.

It's an uphill battle for many parents because lots of the so-called snack foods are really treats - goodies packed with added sugar or fat.  But snacks should be healthy mini-meals that tie kids over between regular meals. 

Registered dietitian Julie Schwartz offers hartman lots of healthy snack ideas.

"Fruit with yogurt, maybe whole grain crackers and low fat cheese, and something like a veggie and a dip of humus." 

And Schwartz says one of the best ways to tell if a food is a snack or treat is to read nutrition labels. 

Try to avoid sugar in the top 3 ingredients. Any kind of sugar, or if it's listed 3 different times. 

Hartman is shopping for healthier snacks now, and when she gets push back from her kids, she just says no. 

Amy Hartman: That's not what we're going to have for snack, we'll eat that for dessert tonight.


(Holly Firfer for CNN's Health Minute)

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