healthy snacking tips for you & your kiddos
I am a busy mom of a ten year old boy and 13 year old girl. I KNOW what it's like to try and have your kids eat healthy, while being constantly exposed to others who do not. We are a plant-based family in the house. I don't freak out when my kids get exposed to snacks that are out of my control, but what I DO try to do, is to always have healthy options that they can grab and go with. This limits pressures from others, and provides me with an instead, here take this. The trick is to make it easy and within their reach.
Why do we snack?
1. Because we're HUNGRY! My kids often come home starving because they eat lunch so early in the day. Make sure before they grab for processed carbs, you have fresh fruits and veggies ready for them. We make it a rule, that they have to have a fruit or veggie as soon as they come home if they're hungry.
2. Because we THINK we're hungry, when we're really dehydrated. Often kids (and adults) don't drink enough water throughout the day. When you hear, I'm starving, tell your kids to drink some water before they start snacking.
3. Because we're BORED-Many of us snack when we're really just bored. Get your kids, and yourself, busy doing another task instead of eating.Helpful snacking tips (this is for adults as well as kids):
- Clean It Up: Clean out those cabinets and get rid of the junk food. If you don't have it in the house, no one can eat it!
- Cut It Up: Have fruit and veggies cut up and ready to be eaten. I know that our kids (or my husband for that matter) will not get out the cutting board and knife to cut up the pineapple I bought, but they will eat it if it's already cut up in the fridge. Energy conservation-we want to do what's easiest (that's why it's easy just to to eat chips-but don't!).
- Make It Easy to Find: Keep cut fruits and veggies in clear, glass jars for easy viewing.
- Step Away From The Screen-Many of us are guilty of eating in front of a screen. When we do, we aren't being mindful of what we're eating, creating less satisfaction from our food, and the desire to consume more. Less satisfaction makes us more likely to overeat.
- Pop It: Get yourself an air popper: Air popped popcorn is a great whole food snack for when the kids come home from school. Plus-it's something they can make themselves. I love it too, as a way to get that munching craving fulfilled without oil, and it fills me up. I drizzle ours with a flavored balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt.
- Dip It: No I'm not talking about a sour cream-based dip. Make a healthy dip or two! I love bean based dips, and am a HUGE fan of hummus. I make mine without oil, using a small amount of tahini. Hummus is great on top of unsalted rice cakes, and topped with some fresh cucumbers, peppers, and/or sprouts. It's crunchy, creamy, and refreshing-satisfying all your cravings. See below for a link to the recipe.
- Plan It: Involve the kids in choosing some healthy snacks to have around the house. Involve them in the cooking or preparing process, and they will be more inclined to eat it.
Some of our kids favorite snacks:
Granola, Bars, & Bites:
Craisinut Granola Bars