Too much snacking may have long been a problem for your family, or it may be a problem that recently popped up as your children are spending more time at home these days. Virtual schooling and lack of additional activities mean that your children may be getting bored and turning to snack on calorie-dense foods as a way to pass the time. If you are concerned about your children’s snacking habits, follow these tips to help them make healthier choices.
Stick to a Healthy Schedule
Children thrive with schedules because they love knowing what to expect. Not sticking to a schedule when it comes to mealtimes can leave your children guessing as to when they will next eat and feeling more tempted to fill their bellies with snacks between meals. Older children should not go more than four hours between meals or snacks, and younger children should not have to wait any longer than three hours.
Purchase Healthy Snacks
With their smaller stomachs and faster metabolisms, children will need snacks occasionally, such as between lunch and supper if you tend to eat later in the evening. Instead of opting for calorie-dense snacks, such as chips and cookies that are not very nutritious, purchase such options as Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and fresh veggies with dip or hummus.
Keep Your Children Hydrated
Just like adults, children may think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Encourage your children to stay hydrated all day long by investing in a refillable water bottle that they can grab whenever they want.
Give Yourself and Your Children Grace
No matter how hard you try to limit junk foods in your children’s lives, there are going to be days when you are pressed for time or not paying as much attention as you would like. Give yourself and your children grace for that day, and try to get back to healthy habits tomorrow.