This week we have focused on prepping your household for the beginning of the school year with healthy breakfasts and lunchbox ideas. Today we’d like to discuss probably the most favored mealtime for kids….snack time! When our kids were younger, it seemed the only time they were really hungry was snack time. And during the school year, when the kids came home, the first thing they wanted to know was, “What can I have to eat?”
Here are a few things we learned along the way to avoid the never ending snack time munchies and how to make snack times a healthy time:
- Avoid the sugar, find the fiber: Traditional snacks are often sugar heavy and light on nutrition. These snacks normally do not quench the appetite but create a craving for more. The reason? Sugar. Sugar does not stop the appetite, it starts a craving. Find snacks that are fiber rich, full of nutrients, and short on sugar. Your kids’ hunger will be satisfied, which is exactly why they needed a snack!
- It’s all about quality, not quantity: Nowadays–especially with the big box stores–it’s easy to think buying larger quantities saves you money and reduces your number of trips to the grocery store. This isn’t necessarily true when it comes to food or especially snacks. A large box of fruit snacks will quickly dwindle away compared to a tray full of veggies. The reason? Fruit snacks taste good, but they won’t quench your appetite like carrot sticks will. When purchasing snacks, make sure to focus on the quality of snacks (less sugar, more fiber). You’ll go through less snacks and save money too!
- If you chop it, they will eat it: Getting kids to expand their palates beyond a few vegetables is a challenge. Try chopping up an assortment of veggies and placing them on a plate with dip. Peppers, snap peas, carrots, and celery are a good place to start. Go through our book and find out about the different options of produce that would be good in the veggie tray…and be creative! Just like adults, kids will eat what looks good.
- Limit their options: If you’re trying to get your kids to eat the good stuff and avoid the processed foods, you’ll have to make sure the processed foods aren’t even a temptation. Let them choose between a variety of healthy snacks. Eventually, they will no longer crave the junk but will be satisfied with the healthy stuff that really fuels their bodies!
Looking for healthy ideas for snacks? We have them in our book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World®!