Updated: Jun 10, 2022
“Mom, I want a snack.” Two hours later… “Mom, I’m hungry.” “MOOOOMMM!!!”
The constant need for snacks is endless in my house. I often challenge the thought, “are they actually hungry or are they just bored?
For many adults, gathering for fun, means having appetizing food and drinks to center around. It has been an expression of culture and community for hundreds of years. It makes sense that as adults when we find that if we’re bored, we turn
to food. However, not always the case for children. Their stomachs are smaller, and their minds and bodies are growing at a rapid rate. They need the proper snacks. However, this also isn’t to say that children don’t tell you they’re hungry
out of boredom. They do! Mine sure keep me on my toes. I’m here to teach you what a healthy, nutrient-dense snack looks like to decrease (fingers crossed here) the number of times they tell you they’re hungry throughout the day.
Also, it’s important to teach your kiddo what it means to be mindful when we eat. Mindful eating means slowing down. I think as adults, we could also use a good reminder that its important to slow the flow while eating, especially during those
“hangry” or on-the-go moments. Nutrient dense foods.
These are wholesome foods of healthy fats, proteins and fiber. They naturally slow down therelease of nutrients to continuously fuel your inner Ninja or Cinderella through-out a sustained period of time. The goal is to avoid food products sold through marketing science as “health foods” such as fruit snacks, gogurt or sunchips, to name a few.
Foods that are chemically engineered are usually digested within 20-30 minutes providing an initial burst of energy, setting you up for a quick turnaround back into the kitchen. Granola bars are usually packed with a lot of addedsugar. RX bars are my personal go-to. They have 5 ingredients or less, all listed on the front of the wrapper. String cheese can be seen as a great source of protein and calcium, but one stick has approximately 150 – 200 mg (.5 grams) of
sodium! With a recommended daily intake of 5 grams/day, this can add up quickly.
Here are a few quick snack ideas to get you started:
*Fresh guacamole + veggies * Apple or banana + nut butter * Olives + carrots + Toasted nuts * Mixture of fruit + avocado
*Baby Carrots + Sugar Snap peas + cucumbers + hummus * Avocado + toasted whole grain bread * Homemade sweet potato fries/chips * Granola + Greek yogurt * Celery + nut butter + raisins
* Smoothies are a fabulous way to pack in a variety of nutrients.
A Smoothie recipe to try: 4 cups of kale, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 1 cup of frozen raspberries, 2/3 cup of coconut yogurt or plain, 1 banana, ½ cup of water (optional: protein powder, I lean towards vial proteins, half of an avocado,
peanut butter powder)
-Energy balls (make in advance + fun to make with your kiddos!): 1 cup rolled oats, ½ cup of nut butter (avoid anything with partially hydrogenated oils!), 1.3 cup of honey, ¼ cup of ground flaxseed, 2 tbls of chia seeds, 2 tbs hemp seeds, 1
tsp vanilla extract, ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Combine all ingredients into a bowl.
Mix until well combined.
Form individual balls about the size of a golf-ball. Arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze them for about 30 minutes until they are set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week!
Next up, teaching mindfulness. It’s so important to create a lifestyle of slowing down, for everything in life. This is especially true when it comes to eating. Taking the time to chew your food longer promotes better digestion, it gives your body time to recognize when it’s satisfied, a different feeling from full. It helps with healthy weight and taking the time to truly taste what you’re nourishing your body with.
*This development with food at a young age has shown to build confidence and security when teens are entering the diet and self-image culture.
The next time you enjoy a snack or a meal together. Close your eyes, take one bite slowly and ask each other questions.
Is your bite salty? Is it sweet? Is it squishy? Is it chewy? Do you like the smell? What does it smell like?
So many fun questions to turn snack time into a meaningful moment with one another!