It’s getting close to that time of year when I invariably get the emails asking for snack ideas. It’s nearly summer. They’re coming home. They’ll be whining and they’ll be constantly hungry. So what’s a mom to do?
Kids need snacks, but not constant grazing. You need to make sure the snacks are healthy and are going to do them some good, nutritionally. If you give them the junk that they clamor for from watching too much TV, they will end up eating continually. It makes sense, if you think about it.
When your children (or you for that matter) don’t get the nutrition necessary, their bodies still crave those nutrients and will keep signaling that it’s time to eat—even after downing a bag of Doritos and drinking a whole liter of Pepsi. They might be temporarily full—but never satisfied because the body was overfed and undernourished and therefore still needed food (when I say that I mean REAL food). See why good nutrition is so important? This is how you stop the vicious cycle of constantly eating; junk doesn’t satisfy at all.
So let’s get a grip on this snack food issue and get some snack ideas happening. Not having a plan (as we well know!) is a recipe for disaster. You know how to make a grocery list—how about adding some of these snack ideas on your list this week?
Here are five easy ones:
1) Fruit. Oh I know, not as sassy as you wanted. But try making the fruit bowl the first “go to” place for a snack and you’ll get some extra nutrients in your child at the same time.
2) Cheese. I love those cheese sticks, but you can just as easily cut up cubes of cheese for your child (an ounce is plenty). Pair the cheese and the fruit and you have a terrific snack idea that will satiate and satisfy.
3) Nut Butters. I am crazy for nut butters; I have peanut, almond and macadamia nut in my fridge. I did everything in there, from fruit to veggies and the combo is a great mix of carbs, fat and protein—that will satisfy and stop the grazing!
4) Yogurt. Get plain low fat Greek yogurt, mix it with frozen berries and a squirt of local honey (helps with immunity for allergies!)
5) Smoothie. Whip up some whey protein powder, fruit, a little water and you’ve got a powerful snack in a glass. This is especially good for your teenagers between school and sports.
So there you have it—five awesome snack ideas that are healthy, inexpensive and will keep your children from starving before dinner!