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Parents' Guide: Abby Finds a Sweet Snack

sometimes i get hungry when I watch tvYou can help your child learn about making healthy snack choices by talking with him or her about the story "Abby Finds a Sweet Snack."

Watch the story together. Then talk with your child about the main messages in the story, highlighted below. This is an opportunity to teach your child about healthy snacks in a fun setting, rather than a potentially stressful situation in the kitchen. We've given you a few questions to steer the conversation as well as suggestions to help you put the messages into practice in your home.

Message: Healthy snack choices can satisfy a sweet tooth.

Fruits are a sweet choice for a healthy snack when you are hungry. Fruit gives you energy and helps your body grow.

  • Do you have a sweet tooth, like Abby?
  • What healthy snack can you eat when your sweet tooth starts wanting something?
  • What is your favorite fruit? What's your favorite healthy snack?

Parenting Tip: Be ready the next time your child wants a snack. Keep healthy foods readily available. If your child can read, make a list of the fruits you talked about, and display it on a cupboard or refrigerator. Or have your child draw a picture of his or her favorite fruits. The next time your child is hungry for something sweet, use the list to let your child make a healthy snack choice.

Message: Eating too much sugar isn't good for your body and may make you cranky.

Candy may taste good, but it may make your body feel tired. Sometimes eating foods with too much sugar may make you feel cranky. There are lots of healthy foods that taste good and are good for your body.

  • How do you feel when you eat a lot of candy or other sugary food?
  • Do you ever get cranky when you eat too much sugar?
  • What healthy foods could you eat instead of candy?

Parenting Tip: To help your child learn to make healthy snack choices, use two boxes to store snack items: one labeled or marked in red, and the other green. Like red and green traffic lights, put snack foods with no or little sugar in the green box, and put more sugary snack foods in the red box. Tell your child that snacks in the green box are a "go" -- it's OK to eat them. But snacks in the red box are a "stop" -- she needs to ask before eating them so you can make sure that she doesn't eat too much sugar. You can also help your family make healthy choices by not buying and bringing home lots of sugary snacks that will tempt everyone.

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