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Snacks can be healthy and affordable

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ATLANTA -

When it comes to shopping for healthy food, it seems like what's good for your kids is bad for your wallet.

Wendy Palmer, a registered dietitian with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said some healthy snacks are actually cheaper than snack foods.

"This first plate here, we've got those gummy fruit types of items that you might put in a school lunch or give your child as a snack," Palmer said. "Most of those, to buy a box of about six packs of those is going to cost about $3.  Whereas as raisins, they're a whole fruit, a natural food choice, they're much more nutritious than those fruit snacks. "

Raisins are about a dollar less expensive.

If your kids like crunch, instead of snack crackers, whip up some "ants on a log."

"It's a creative way to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and will save you money! Because you can buy a head of celery for less than $2.  Most folks have a jar of peanut butter in the pantry already, and, again, the raisins are inexpensive," Palmer said.

Palmer says unsweetened apple sauce is a better and cheaper-choice than chocolate-coated granola bars.

A dollar here and a dollar there can be a good thing.

"Because that dollar, over the course of the week, turns into $5, and over the course of the year, turns into much more," Palmer.

Palmer says she knows preparing snacks like ants on a log takes a little longer than, say, dumping out a box of goldfish, but she says they're a great way to get kids in the kitchen and teach them how to make their own healthy snacks. That way they take some ownership over what they're eating.

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