Most people find it difficult to make kids have their snacks, on time that it. They often wonder when their kids should snack. Well, there are smarter ways to stock snacks at home to make it exciting enough so that kids love to snack whenever you want to. To start with, it is wrong with things that every time is snacking time. The best way to go about it is to think of snacks as their mini meals.
There are several children who graze all through the day enjoying their snacking time that seems to be neverending. Yes, snacks are good in several ways such as:
- It is good for health as it gives their body the desired nutrients
- It helps to keep their hunger at bay and
- It also helps them to stay focused on their studies at school and also at home while doing their homework.
True as it is, most of the times the bags of these kids are full of chips, cookies and all other food items that are low on calorie and nutritional value.
It is here where the problem lies. Such snacking is unplanned and random snacking will surely lead to several health issues and other problems. If your kid’s snack nonstop there are two basic problems that your kids will experience. These are:
- It will interfere with their appetites and
- It will also upset their natural instinct to feel full or to experience hunger.
Therefore, you should time your kid’s snacking correctly so that it actually helps them to get the energy as well as the nutrients they require.
The perfect timing
According to research, children and teens need to snack every three to four hours all through the day. This will help fuel their growth, keep their body active and energized and meet their daily nutrient requirement and food plan. This deciphers into these basic things:
- Young kids should have two snacks a day at least and they also need to eat at least three meals a day
- Older kids can do with one snack a day but should have at least three meals to fulfill their body requirements.
However, if an older kid is very physically active or is experiencing a growth spurt, the number of snacks per day should be increased to two.
Therefore, if you want to offer planned meals and snacks on time consistently through the day, you will need to stock your home snacks accordingly. You may follow a good rule of thumb which is:
- Offering them snacks just a couple of hours after a meal ends and
- About a couple of before it is time to start the next meal.
If you postpone snacks a few hours after each meal will have two significant positive effects in their food habits which will surely help them grow and keep health issues at bay.
- One, it will prevent your kids from refusing to eat a meal and
- Two, it will prevent them from craving for food as a snack just after the mealtime ends.
In other words, it will encourage a healthy appetite in them if you put stops to snacking straightaway before meals.
Smart snacking habits
If you want to install smart and good snacking habits in your kid you must know these few facts:
- It all starts with the place. If they are snacking at home, they should have a designated area for it. Mark an area as the “eating zone” and make sure that all snacking is limited to that location.
- You can mark the kitchen table or even the countertop for it. This will help you to monitor their snacking.
- If your kid’s snack all over the house you will hardly know what they eat and how much they eat. In addition to that, you will also have to deal with the spills, crumbs and other mess.
- It is also required to make sure that your kids are not allowed to watch TV while snacking. There are different studies that show that it results in mindless munching and in turn, leads to overeating.
- Do not force smaller children to eat larger portions but make sure that they get into the habit of more frequent snacking as compared to the older kids. This is because little kids have smaller stomachs and therefore can hold less.
- Make a more predictable routine for snacking and offering meals. This will help them to be ready and expect something to eat and help you to be prepared with the right food to fill the hungry tummies.
- Your kids may be very hungry right after coming home from school but make sure that they eat at the right meal times and do not offer any snacks too close to their mealtime.
- Always offer nutrient-dense foods that may be lacking in their diet otherwise so that it improves and fulfills the nutrient intake of your child.
- Always place food items that are healthy in plain sight of your kids such as a bowl of fresh and ripe whole fruit at the center of the dining table or your kitchen or small containers containing fresh veggie snacks such as carrots, broccoli florets and celery sticks in the fridge at the eye level of your kids.
- Lastly, you should stock your fridge and kitchen with lots of canned snacks. This may include canned fruits in a juice, natural applesauce, and others but make sure you check the label to find out whether or not it contains any added sugar.
Does it feel a costly affair for you? To cut cost, you can:
- Divide larger cans into smaller reusable containers with smaller portions.
- You may even buy single-serve containers that are more convenient as well.
- Use more frozen fruits as these are often are less expensive such as frozen strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Well, if you are well organized then you will not have problems in stacking your kitchen or even making your kids eat their meal and snacks on time and on a regular basis.