A kids guide to better eating

Boredom often leads to unhealthy snacking and eating. Whether it’s overeating, binging on carb-loaded foods or snacking on high sugar foods… it happens. So how are you planning to tighten the leash a bit when it comes to unhealthy eating, especially over the holiday periods and weekends?

We have a few moms in the office with kids ranging from 3 years to 21 years, and we thought that we would share some valuable tips from them to help bust the boredom binge when it comes to kids.

Containing hangry Troopers- Cornel

So, I’ve come to learn that my kids go through growth spurts. Times where they want to eat absolutely everything they see and times when it feels like some sort of fasting in our house.

During those growth spurt phases, the more time they have on their hands, the more snacks they want in their hands. Whether it’s high levels of activity or boredom lows, those snack-attacks creep up. And oh boy, do those grump-a-saurusses come out when they didn’t snack enough before mealtime! They can’t even wait one minute for me to dish up and then there is complete chaos and meltdowns in the house. Healthy snacking = happy home.

What works for me, is to keep a shelf in our fridge open for anytime snacks. It is within their reach and they know that they can take anything off that shelf whenever they feel hungry or feel like having a snack. I make sure that it’s stacked with fruit, their bottled water, and pre-made snacks such as healthy quiche bites, cold meats and yoghurt. I also love to bake whole-wheat muffins with seeds and nuts, which is quite filling and enjoyable to snack on. The rest of the ‘treats’ get packed away where it is out of sight. A little secret… they only drink water and milk, because I make all cold drinks absolutely too weak and tasteless; so they don’t want it! Works like a charm.

Smart Snacking for Young Adults/Students - Bev

Smart Snacking for young adults can fit into a healthy eating plan and provide an energy boost between meals, if they’re planned right. Snacks are an important part of their daily nutrition and can help to provide them with enough fuel to perform their best throughout the day. Preparation is the key to achieving success in anything we do and a little bit of meal prep goes a long way! There are lots of recipes you can make ahead of time so they’ve got healthy snacks on-the-go. 

Here are a few tips to help them make healthier snack choices:

Develop a healthy snack plan in advance for the week ahead. If you wait until they’re hungry to decide what to eat, they will make less healthy choices.

I usually keep my fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with healthy foods to grab quickly or on-the-go. These snacks are a quick way to fill their body with fibre and protein. It also helps when they need to stay awake for an impromptu all-night study session. Some examples include:
  • Fresh fruit and chopped fruit
  • Chopped veggies such as celery sticks, carrot sticks
  • Hummus or a yoghurt-based dip
  • Frozen chopped fruit – for a quick smoothie
  • Dried Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Homemade trail mix consisting of nuts, dried fruit and seeds
  • Homemade seed cracker and bars
  • Whole grain bread, crackers and cereals
  • Yogurt
  • Sliced cheese
  • Boiled eggs
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Rice cakes: add peanut butter and chopped banana
Snacks are a great time to add extra servings of vegetables and fruits to the meal. Wash them ahead of time so they are quick and easy to grab when they are hungry.

Leftovers make great snacks. After meals, I package them into smaller “snack” sized container and store them in the fridge or freezer.

Yes, it is possible to treat them to a healthy snack. In fact, if they a hectic schedule, it's even more important for them to eat healthy foods that give them the fuel they need to keep going!

Our Montagu tip

To make this easier for kids, let’s think of an intersection traffic light and the song linked to it:

Red means stop, green means go, yellow means very, very slow!

So when thinking of your food and snacks remember: Stop, Go and Very, very slow

Here is a list of our stop, go and slow:

Stop:

  • Any food or veg fried in oil
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Snacks with trans fats
  • Donuts, muffins
  • Cookies, cake
  • Pies
  • Sauces
  • Soda
  • Sweetened cold drinks
  • Juices with less than 100% fruit juice
  • Added sugars and preservatives is a big STOP!
  • Try to avoid buying these and having it in your house, where it is easily accessible.

Go:

  • Veggies
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Almost everything wholegrain: Pasta, cereal, bread
  • Milk
  • Water (lots and lots of water)
  • Meats and sources of protein
  • This list is a perfect, anytime ‘go-to’ when the snack-attacks occur.  

*Vegetable and olive oils that have no saturated or trans fats and can be eaten daily, but in limited portions to meet daily calorie needs.

Slow:

  • Fruit Juices
  • Sport Drinks
  • Granola, Bread and pasta that is not wholegrain
  • Processed cheese and food
  • Milk Ice-lollies (Contains sugar)
  • Baked Chips (Unhealthy oil)
  • Low-fat Ice Cream (Contains sugar)

Read the labels and get to know what is in the snacks & food. There are loads of sugar and bad carbs hiding behind the ‘LOW’ fat or %-info given on the packs. Be mindful when putting something in your basket.

We’ve shared a couple of nice recipes for kids on our website and here are just a few you can look at for inspiration:


We hope that these tips and list of recipes will inspire you to snack smarter during this period. Share some of your tips with us as well as your baking photos. We would love to see it! Take care of yourself and stay safe! 
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