"When I look at these materials, it just looks normal, like any parent would get…..Just because we’re poor doesn’t mean we’re dumb."
WIC participant


Select a material from the pull-down below.


Click above image to view 8.5" x 11" PDF

THTM #28: Happy smiles (Healthy snack ideas)

What is the key message?

  • Children learn to enjoy healthy snacks if offered to them consistently.
  • Too many “treats” may bring short term smiles to children but long-term problems.
  • Offering healthy snacks to children make mothers feel proud and happy.
  • Offering healthy snacks makes a difference to a child’s life.

Who should receive this message?

  • Any parent or caregiver.

How can this message be used?

  • What kinds of foods do you think of when you hear the word “snack” or “treat”?
  • What kind of treats can be healthy?

Idea for a group:

(Give each participant one Post-it™ note pad and pen when they arrive. You can also do this activity using a poster board or marker.)

  • Every parent is an expert on snacks. Let’s make a list of some snack ideas you have tried or would like to try. Please write at least three snack ideas for children on the Post-it™ note pad, putting only one snack idea on each piece of paper. (Collect the Post-it™ notes with snack ideas written on them. Put them all on poster board or the wall. Note: Using Post-it™ notes allows you to discuss the snack choices without identifying who suggested them. But some participants may be hesitant to write their responses. If you think writing may be an issue, do this activity verbally.)
  • Which of these snacks would be considered healthy snacks? Which would be less healthy snacks? (Position the healthy snacks in one column and less healthy snacks in a second column on the poster board or wall.)
  • Who has the most influence over the types of snacks or treats your child eats?
  • How does your child react when offered a healthy snack like fruit, vegetables, yogurt or whole wheat bread? How does that make you feel as a mother?
  • How does your child react when offered a less healthy snack?
  • How does your child’s reaction to unhealthy snacks make you feel as a mother?
  • How do your child’s reactions to foods affect your decisions as a parent?
  • What commercials have you and your children seen for healthy snacks—things like oranges, grapes, raisins, string cheese, yogurt, whole wheat bread or cut up fruit?
  • How does it feel to know that it is the healthy snacks that make children smile on the inside—and lead them to a healthy future.
  • How does it feel to be the most influential person in helping your child develop a love of healthy foods?
  • What snacks will you offer your child this week?
  • How will you feel when you offer your child healthy snacks this week?
  • How can you make healthy snacks “treats”? How can you make them something children will ask for – and you feel good giving?


Emotion-Based Messages