Weekly Health Watch with preparing healthy snacks ahead of time, new research on smart children, ways to stay hydrated and more.

With a little preparation, you can ensure that convenient, wholesome, on-the-go snacks are at the ready when it's time to head to play practice or ballet lessons. Here are a few snack ideas to keep your family happy and healthy:


1. Smoothies - While smoothies may not be the first thing that pops in your mind in terms of portability and convenience, with the right to-go cup, straw and lid, smoothies can be a great way to get some key nutrients en route.


3. Apple chips - If you're a fan of apples, consider making apple chips. Simply cut apples into about 1/8-inch thick slices, add a pinch of cinnamon, and place them in the oven at 200 degrees for roughly two hours. You'll end up with tasty, wholesome apple chips you can store in sealed sandwich bags for up to three days.


5. Homemade trail mix - For a shelf-stable snack that's perfect for storing in the car, at the office or in your purse, consider mixing up your favorite dry food snack items such as popcorn, almonds, peanuts, dried cranberries, raisins, banana chips and more.


-- Family Features


New Research: Finding kidney disease


Researchers found measuring creatinine and cystatin C — two markers for chronic kidney disease — more precisely estimates kidney function than either marker alone. Creatinine is a waste product from protein in the diet and the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. Cystatin C is released by cells throughout the body. The kidneys remove both creatinine and cystatin from the blood. As kidney function worsens, the creatinine and cystatin levels in the blood increase.


-- National Institutes of Health


Did You Know?


Water-based foods like lettuce, watermelon, grapefruit and broccoli can help you stay hydrated during the summer months. -- EatRight.org


Health Tip: Know when to break


There's no absolute overtraining answer that applies to everyone, so it's important to stay in tune with your own body. If you have insomnia, headaches or muscle and joint fatigue that lingers, your body may be telling you to take a break. Remember, rest is the best way to cure overtraining.


-- Life Fitness


Number to Know


30: The drug methadone accounted for more than 30 percent of prescription painkiller overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2009, but accounted for only 2 percent of prescriptions. -- CDC


Children’s Health: How many weeks are you?


Researchers found achievement scores for children born at 37 and 38 weeks' gestation were significantly lower than those of children born at 39, 40 or 41 weeks. Compared with children born at 41 weeks, children born at 37 weeks have a 23 percent increased risk of having a moderate reading impairment; children born at 38 weeks have a 13 percent increased risk. Math scores were also lower for children born at 37 or 38 weeks.


-- American Academy of Pediatrics


GateHouse News Service