Blog Nine: Help! My Children Won’t Stop Snacking

“Help! My Children Won’t Stop Snacking”

Blog Nine: Monday, 27 May2019

Written by Mandy Sacher, CEO of Wholesome Child

main imageHi there,

I hope you whipped up some delicious creations last week and got busy in the kitchen with your kids. This week, we’re going to chat about something that comes up a lot in my workshops – snacking!

Many parents are worried their child won’t finish a meal, yet is ‘starving’ soon after and rummaging through the pantry or fridge. So if you’re worried you’ve created a little ‘snack monster’ here are some steps to break the cycle in a healthy, nutritious and stress-free way.

The sugar-hunger connection

Sugar is hiding everywhere – often in foods considered ‘healthy’. Soups, pasta sauces, yoghurt pouches, bagels and muesli bars can all contain significant amounts of sugar. Consuming too much sugar on a daily basis can throw your child’s appetite out of whack and may result in frequent snacking. This is because refined sugar is stripped of fibre, vitamins and minerals, offering no nutrient value and ‘empty’ calories – which can also reduce satiation after eating. Simply reducing sugar from your child’s diet can help to stabilise blood sugar levels and aid in your child feeling more satiated and less snacking.

Create structured mealtimes

Establishing a structure around mealtimes will not only allow you to plan what your family will be eating, but it will also offer your child consistency. Use a weekly meal planner and get your children involved with planning their breakfasts, lunches and dinners (not to mention choosing some nutrient-dense snacks too).

Fill up on the good stuff

I recommend to my clients that children should have three meals a day, with two nutrient-dense snacks. This means that a child may be eating every two and a half hours to give them an energy boost and the necessary nutrients to get through the day.

At mealtimes, it’s important to eat plenty of veggies, as well as healthy fats and proteins. Vegetable intake is a vital element in a family’s diet. Not only do vegetables work wonders with filling the tummy and helping with satiation, but they’re also packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals – important for both children and adults.

Some recipe favourites include my Hearty Minestrone or Veggie-Packed Pasta Sauce over wholegrain pasta or zoodles.

Stretch out snack times

If your child is prone to eating every hour or so, begin to stretch out their snacks by just five to 10 minutes every few days.

The likelihood is that they probably won’t notice and it means that over time you’ll be able to develop a more regular and sustainable eating pattern.

If your child is snacking…

Make sure they’re reaching for healthy and satiating snacks. Both healthy fats and protein are integral in helping to help fill your child’s tum for longer and are packed with a bunch of essential vitamins and minerals.

My top 5 nutrient-dense and super simple snacks are…

  • High Protein Peanut Butter Biscuits.I’d recommend whipping up a batch of these tasty biscuits on the weekend and keeping them in an airtight container for snacks throughout the week – if they last that long…
  • Beetroot and Spinach Bliss Balls.These tasty bliss balls are the perfect way to sneak extra veggies into your diet – just make sure you blitz the spinach into a fine paste.
  • Beef and Veggie Meatballs. You might not think of meatballs as a snack, but they’re a great grab ‘n’ go food. This version uses carrot and zucchini as well, but feel free to pop any leftover veggies into the mix.
  • Apricot and Coconut Muesli Bar.Muesli bars are the perfect snack food and these ones are full of healthy fats with the addition of both coconut and flaxseeds to support digestion and boost healthy, glowing skin and hair. Plus, they’re school-friendly too!
  • Wholesome Child Banana Bread.The addition of high-fibre chia seeds and anti-inflammatory cinnamon makes this bread great for snack time. Toasted with a little butter? Yes, please.

Chat to you soon,

Mandy xx