Raisins are a better after-school snack option for children. It helps them feeling full and prevents excessive calories intake, said a new study presented at Canadian Nutrition Society annual meeting in Vancouver.

The study reports that although all snacks reduced appetite, raisins lowered the desire to eat more.

This small group based study involved 26 school going children. Participants were assigned snacks like raisins, chips, grapes and so on. All the participants got equal amounts of food during breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The children that ate raisins were more likely to feel full and consume fewer calories than children who snacked on other foods.

"To our knowledge, this is the first controlled study that looks at after-school snacking and satiety among children. We found consumption of raisins as a snack prevented excessive calorie intake, increased the feeling of fullness, and thereby may help contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight in school-age children," said G. Harvey Anderson, Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Physiology, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto and lead researcher.

Previous studies have reported that snacking while watching television increases calorie consumption. Some experts believe snacking originated recently when people began having quick access to food.

Beverages rather than foods are a concern during snacking. A sweetened soda, despite high calories, doesn't make people feel full (an indicator to stop eating) leading to excess energy intake. A study says that almost 27 percent of a child's calorie intake comes from snacks.

Stress determines eating patterns. Children who are put on high dietary restraints tend to snack more on unhealthy foods than children who do not have dietary restraints.

Snacking on healthy foods is encouraged, especially for older adults as it provides continuous energy, says a study.

Nuts such as tree nuts or peanuts are considered as a healthy snack option.

The present study received funds from California Raisin Marketing Board.