"Mom, I'm hungry"
"Mom, can I have some toast?"
"Mom, can I have a cheese stick?"
"Mom, is it time for a snack yet?"
Kids are relentless in their requests for food. We feed them, and then 5 minutes later, they are ready to eat again! Who can blame them? Food is yummy and fun!
But feeding our kids too many snacks can be bad for their health. Do you want to learn how to feed your kids like a nutrition pro?
Read through these healthy snacking tips to learn how:
Tip #1 Schedule snack time
If you want your child to have an appetite for nutritious foods at meals, you need to stop them from snacking within 2-3 hours of mealtime.
The easiest way to stop your child from snacking within 2-3 hours of mealtime is to schedule meals and snacks. Sit down and eat with your kids about every 3 hours. If you routinely offer a sit down snack, your kids will know what to expect and won't constantly beg for snacks.
If your child says "I'm hungry" before it's time for snack, let them know when the next snack time is and what you'll be having. It's good to teach your child to wait.
Often children who say they are hungry are actually bored, tired or thirsty.
Offer water between set meal and snack times.
Health Benefits of scheduling snack times:
Reduces tooth cavities (dental caries)
Helps children learn about hunger and fullness (not possible if you graze all day)
Improves nutrition of foods eaten
Examples of a meal schedule:
breakfast 8am, lunch 11am, snack 2pm, dinner 5pm, snack 8pm
breakfast 6am, snack 9am, lunch 12pm, snack 3pm, dinner 6pm
breakfast 5pm, snack 8am, lunch 11am, snack 3pm, dinner 6pm
breakfast 10am, lunch 1pm, snack 4pm, dinner 7pm, snack 9pm
#2 Combine Fiber + Protein at every snack
Foods with fiber and protein are usually nutritious.
Fiber and protein are filling.
Combining foods with fiber and protein at snack time will keep your child full and provide optimal nutrition!
fiber foods = fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans
protein foods = nuts, cheese, meat, dairy, beans
apple + peanut butter
whole wheat toast + peanut butter
Whole wheat toast + avocado
cheese + whole grain crackers
cottage cheese + whole grain crackers (triscuits)
fruit + yogurt
fruit + cheese slices
whole wheat tortilla + shredded cheese
veggies + hummus
black beans + tortilla
black beans + whole grain chips or crackers
leftover soup from lunch + crackers
smoothies with milk and fruit
whole wheat muffins + nuts or peanut butter
Want more awesome snack ideas?
Check out our recipe page and filter by snacks.
Click this link to sign up for the October 2023 cooking class. We're making healthy Halloween snacks!