Ants on a log a great snack

By MSU extension office

Often when children get home from school they are hungry and ready to snack on something. It seems like there is always a lot to squeeze in between coming home from work or school and eating dinner. Michigan State University Extension recommends eating a healthy snack to provide a helpful boost of energy needed for homework, sports, dance, and even socialization activities for children and parents alike.
A simple, economical, and nutritious snack idea is ants on a log. Ants on a log consist of peanut butter spread on celery, topped with raisins. Peanuts are a good source of protein. However, choose an alternative protein spread, if necessary. Read What Foods are in the Protein Foods Group for a breakdown on peanut nutrition. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), peanut butter contains seven grams of protein. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from protein.
What exactly is protein? The NIH defines protein as the building blocks of life. These building blocks are called amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that join together to make a variety of different proteins that are needed to build and repair tissues within the body, such as the muscles. Our bodies don’t produce some of these amino acids; these are known as essential amino acids, meaning that it’s essential our diet provide these. Good sources of protein include:
Meats, poultry, and fish
Legumes (dry beans and peas)
Nuts and seeds
Milk and milk products
Ants on a log are a fast healthy, fun snack for families!Three simple ingredients combine for a delicious, nutritious, budget-friendly after-school snack that tastes like a real treat for hungry kids. Visit 10 Tips: MyPlate Snack Tips for Parents for more healthy snack ideas from the USDA.
If you would like to learn more about healthy eating and wellness, visit Michigan State University Extension. MSU Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and wellness.

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