Healthy Options to a Summer Slimdown

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Local programs and yummy good-for-you snacks help provide healthy options that could help overweight kids.

When it comes to childhood obesity, there are a lot of scary numbers out there: according to Ohio Action for Healthy Kids, 35 percent of Ohio third graders are overweight or obese. And obesity-related health issues, like high blood pressure and diabetes, are on the rise. Fortunately, parents can choose to prepare healthier meals and snacks at home.

GREAT SUMMER SNACK IDEAS

It’s easy to make some changes right at home, starting in your kitchen. Try some of these ideas for you and the kids:

Freeze your bananas!
Frozen bananas have the texture of ice cream, which makes them a perfect summertime treat, whether you want to dip them in a little bit of chocolate, or blend them into a smoothie (try blending a banana, peanut butter, a little milk and cocoa powder.

Make your own popsicle
Skip the store-bought frozen treats that are full of extra sugar and make your own with some fresh fruit and yogurt. Check out allrecipes.com for more than 40 different recipes.

Grill your own fruit
Try it out with sliced peaches or pineapple!

Salad on a stick
Instead of tossing your veggies in a bowl with lettuce, make kabobs instead. Use mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes and small wedges of lettuce with a drizzle of your favorite salad dressing.

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