Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Children need snacks just like they need water; however, those snacks should be healthy
and not just full of empty calories.
When children are active, they require more calories. In some cases, they may need
more calories than an adult if their activity level is moderate to high. Although
the child may be sitting in class all day, there is also PE class, recess and after-school
activities that increase their energy level.
This proves that snacking is essential for our children. But not all snacks are created
equal. Snacks can provide a large amount of a child’s food intake for the day so those
snacks should also provide nutrition, not just empty calories.
Snacks are essentially mini-meals and should complement MyPlate. This can be as easy as a glass of low-fat milk and an oatmeal raising cookie, or
a yogurt fruit pop. Milk has nutrients that a growing body needs to help build bones
and teeth, to help blood clot, to help regulate muscle function, and to build and
I know that eliminating all of a child’s favorite high-fat, high-calories, empty calorie
snack foods will not be a popular decision. In some cases, your child may need those
calories if they are extremely active. Including these foods occasionally may teach
the child about moderation, something they will need to practice for later in life.
Many of those “empty calorie” snack foods that your children love can be replaced
with healthier versions, those made with less fat, sugar or sodium. Help your children
read nutrition fact labels and evaluate the nutrition of the snack they have chosen.
After school drinks can add empty calories to a child’s diet. Sugar drinks like soft
drinks, Kool-Aid, or fruit drinks are poor choices for snack time. Fruit juices made
from 100 percent fruit (read the label) are much better choices.
Snacks need to be planned for. If all there is at home is chips, soft drinks, cookies,
and candy, then chances are that your child will not make the right snack choice.
Some snack items to have onhand might include:
It's important for your child to have choices when it comes to snacking. If all the
choices are reasonably healthy ones, then both you and your child can be happy.
At our home, we have a snack drawer which contains things such as:
In my refrigerator/freezer, you will find:
I also keep fresh fruit ready to eat, such as strawberries, watermelon balls, berries
and kiwi, peaches and plums, washed and ready to eat.
All of this is easy to do if you will plan ahead.
Ask your children what they would like for snacks as you make your list. But be realistic
and offer similar choices. For instance, don’t offer the choice between ice cream
and pretzels, because they will probably pick something you really don’t want them
to have. Instead, make the choice similar, such as yogurt or sherbet, peach slices
or apple wedges, pudding or cheese cubes.
It's also important to limit portion sizes. Don’t allow them to have the whole box
of vanilla wafers, just a few. Snacks should provide just enough to get them to the
next meal, not replace it.
Most of all, as parents, we must set a good example. If your children see you snacking
on fresh fruits and vegetables, they are likely to do the same. But, if your snacks
always consist of sugary snack cakes and soft drinks, expect your children to ask
for the same. Make healthy snacks a family affair.
Don’t forget to discuss the use of appliances with your children. If they are allowed
to use the microwave, what do they need to do to remain safe and what type of foods
can they prepare? Microwave popcorn (hold the butter please) is a favorite but remind
the children to open the bag away from their body and face because of the steam that
will escape. Other choices might be baked potatoes, low-fat hot dogs, or leftovers.
Our kids deserve a little refreshment after a hard day at school. Just make sure it’s
good for them.
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org