Huntington Hospital Clinical Dietitian Shares Healthy Eating Tips for Kids

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 | 8:18 pm

With the start of the new school year, Huntington Hospital clinical dietitian Crystal Kwan is sharing some tips on how parents can make their kids go through a busy school day by making them eat the right and healthy kinds of food.

According to Kwan, eating a balanced breakfast can improve school performance, increase energy levels, and can make a difference in the kids’ overall health and well-being.

Instead of settling for a sugary cereal, Kwan said parents should plan for their child’s balanced breakfast to include protein-rich food (eggs, 100% natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, beans, cottage cheese, slice deli meats ,etc) and a whole-grain carbohydrate (whole-grain toast, wheat English muffin, wheat pita bread, whole-grain frozen waffle, etc).

She suggests topping a frozen waffle with Greek yogurt and berries, or making a breakfast sandwich with one egg and one slice of Canadian bacon inside a whole-grain English muffin. She also suggests a piece of fruit and a slice of whole-grain toast topped with peanut butter and sprinkled with ground flax seed for added fiber.

For lunch, Kwan said whether children eat a school-provided lunch or bring their own lunch to school, focus should be on a nutrient dense meal that will sustain them through the end of school.

A healthy lunch, Kwan said, should include one of each food group: one protein, one whole-grain, one fruit, one vegetable and one milk choice.

If bringing lunch to school, Kwan suggest that children try using a lunch box with several small compartments. She suggests a meal to include: ½ wheat pita bread filled with sliced turkey meat and sliced cheese, with a side of berries and baby carrots, whole-grain crackers with side of hummus, cucumber and apple slices, and carton of low-fat milk; two slices of chicken and cheese quesadillas, with side of sliced bell peppers and grape tomatoes served with cubed mango

As for after-school snacks, whether a child is gearing up for an after school activity or getting ready to study, a healthy snack before dinner is important to keep the energy levels up, Kwan said.

And if a child will be participating in a sport, parents should not forget to pack plenty of water, Kwan said.

As a healthy replacement for highly processes snack foods like cookies and chips, parents should try incorporating fruits and vegetables instead, Kwan suggests.

Fruits and vegetables could be made fun for children by adding dips such as hummus, dressings, peanut butter and yogurt dips.

Other healthy snack choices according to Kwan are homemade trail mixes (nuts, dried fruit, whole-grain pretzels), string cheese and fruit slices, celery and almond butter; baked tortilla chips dipped in salsa, whole-wheat tortilla with sliced turkey breast and cheese heated in the microwave, and carrot sticks and dressing.

A registered dietician, Kwan is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (Masters in Public Health) and the University of California, Berkeley (B.S. in Nutrition).

Kwan is also expertly trained in providing medical nutrition therapy that focus on lifestyle transformation, nutritional self-management and positive behavior change.

You too can get Kwan’s personalized nutrition counseling by calling (626) 397-5600, extension 6, to make an appointment with her or visit the hospital’s website at for more information.







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