Helping Your Children Snack Healthier

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.

Even though not every day is going to go exactly as you wanted it to, you can set your children up for snacking success by planning for the inevitable. By having nutrient-dense foods on hand and even by encouraging them to become more active, you can help children create healthy habits that will stick for a lifetime. For more help with these and other pediatric concerns, reach out to Kids 1st Pediatrics for professional advice.