Healthy snacks and snack mixes are becoming increasingly popular among families as a way to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor or nutritional value.
But while these snacks are not perfect, research shows they can have significant benefits for kids, including helping reduce the risk of obesity and improve the quality of their sleep.
In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health analyzed the research of more than 3,500 kids between ages 3 and 12.
They found that eating snacks with a little protein can help kids stay on track with their nutrition.
“The more calories kids eat, the less likely they are to have obesity,” said Dr. Matthew Hennigan, a professor of pediatrics at Penn’s School of Pediatrics.
“So the more calories you eat, that helps you lose weight.”
Healthy snacks that have a little bit of protein, like chickpeas, lentils and tofu, help children stay on top of their nutritionDr.
Hennig said the findings are similar to a study he conducted earlier this year in the United Kingdom that looked at children’s diet and nutrition habits and found kids who were on a low-protein diet (around 20 grams of protein per day) had lower risk of being overweight, and healthier eating habits.
While there was a small difference in kids who ate more protein in general, overall, kids who consumed a low protein diet (20 grams of Protein per day or less) had less weight gain and healthier behaviors.
While Dr. Hernigan is quick to point out that these findings are preliminary, it is possible that low- protein diets may actually help children to stay on the right path in the long term, he said.
For instance, if you have kids who are overweight or obese, you may be able to reduce their overall risk of developing the condition by giving them more protein, he added.
But while the study looked at the effects of a low fat diet on the kids in the study, Dr. Daniel J. Tresidder, an assistant professor of medicine at the University at Albany, said the results are valid for all kids.
The best way to keep kids healthy, he told The Washington Post, is to be honest with them about what they are eating.
“It’s important to talk to your kids about what’s really healthy for them,” he said, adding that there are a lot of things kids can do to eat more protein and lower their fat intake.
In addition to the study’s results, Dr Henniger has a new book on the subject.
“You don’t have to be a weight watcher to know what foods are healthy and what are not,” he told the newspaper.
“But it’s important for parents to take the time to really know what their kids are eating and what their eating habits are.”
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