How Snacking Behaviors Can Work Against Us

Children like love snacks.  Ask any kid.  They don’t want breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Who wants a crazy thing like a meal when you can have… wait for it, wait for it… a bag of snacks!  We wonder why our children aren’t hungry at meal time and then realize they have quietly been grazing their way through the day. Doesn’t allow for the hunger pangs to exactly set in, does it?  Don’t worry.  I am not being one of those judgy (is that a word?) moms.  I’m guilty as charged.  In fact, I am guiltier (really I should work on my grammar) because I actually write a blog about food and emotional health and all that jazz.  Anyway,  where were we?

I am not out to vilify snacks.  I love a good one when the right time strikes.   However, I simply want to demonstrate the point that our children don’t always have to carry around a snack.  They don’t have to eat between meals.  If they are eating foods low in sugar and high in protein and fiber then their bodies shouldn’t necessarily be looking for food every hour.

Snacking keeps some children full and happy but then they may be less willing to eat their meals and less willing to try new foods because they just aren’t hungry enough.  And what kiddo wants to try mom or dad’s new cabbage salad when their tummies are overflowing with chocolate milk and Oreos?  Chances are they are going to say, “Thanks but no thanks” to your nutritious meal and “Yes, can I please have more?” of your Doritos and donuts.

That being said if you feel they do need a snack maybe we could try a couple of things differently.

One, throw out the processed bags of junk.  Snack time does not have to be junk time.

Here I threw a bag of almonds onto a cookie sheet and roasted them at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Obviously, allow the almonds to cool and then let your kiddos go to town. Or don’t let them go to town. Really, whatever you decide.

Two, make it simple on yourself.  You don’t have to make tea sandwiches shaped into pinwheels or carve your fruit into Shopkins figurines.  Just serve your children something healthy.

Donut peaches. No shaping or carving involved. Just some small peaches I ran under cold water. Prep time: 30 seconds! Just how I like it.

Last but not least, enjoy the food you provide.  Food should be about health and taste.  And real food just tastes better! Happy snacking if you do that sort of thing!