For the folk at Westbridge Academy, Battersea

When your kids ask for snacks 399 times a day

Is anybody else sick of the word “snack”? You’ve just made a lovely meal for your children and you take a breather and hope that you might be left alone for a little bit but then you hear that dreaded sentence “Mum I’m hungry, can I have a snack!”.

If any of this sounds familiar to you here are a few tips to deal with your children’s snacking habits plus some quick and healthy snack ideas.

Tips to stop kids wanting to snack all day

  1. Create a loose meal/ snack routine

    Our children are used to following a good routine at school. They know exactly when its snack time, playground time and lunch and they don’t argue about it. So there’s no reason why we can’t follow a similar structure at home.

    Create your own little routine - you could even make a little colourful timetable and stick it on a wall somewhere. Talk through the routine with your children so that they understand when they eat their main meals and when they can snack. Kids thrive with boundaries even if they do not know it!

  2. Prepare your snacks ahead

    Taking a few minutes to make a list of some healthy snacks will save you time and headache through the day and stop you from giving in to your childrens nags for the more sugary processed treats.

    You could make a little snack bag or basket for each child at the start of the day. You could even prepare this with your children allowing them to choose which healthy options they want to add to their basket for that day. Allowing them to be a part of this process makes them feel in control and they can then ration their own snacks throughout the day.

  3. Stay busy

    A lot of the time when we think we’re hungry we’re actually probably a bit bored and that’s when we head to the kitchen to grab a snack. Our children are the same!

    Try preparing a simple list of activities so that when they cry “I’m hungry, what can I eat?” you can steer them towards a new and fun activity instead. This should atleast distract that from the snacking monster for a short while.

  4. Stay hydrated

    Sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger. It’s important that our children drink lots of water throughout the day to keep their energy levels up and to resist those confusing hunger pangs.

  5. We’re not perfect so let’s just try for a balance

    Look, we’re all just trying to be the best we can for our children. It’s okay to give them chocolate and fun treats. It makes us happy and it makes them happy. Especially during these strange Covid-19 times a good treat really is needed. So don’t feel bad for it. As long as they’re eating balanced meals and fruit and veg each day all is OK!!

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Fruit

    This is an obvious one but change it up frequently to keep it exciting. You can slice it new ways or make fruit kebabs on sticks to make it fun.

  • Yogurt

    Yogurt with honey is a great source of protein and most kids love yogurt. A lot of the packedged yogurts are full of sugar so opt for the plain natural versions and flavour it with honey or maple syrup if you can. Accompany it with fruit and its a mini meal!

  • Cheese

    Another great source of protein so it will keep those tummies fuller for longer and as there are so many different types your children are bound to find one they like. Add crackers and grapes to make your own fancy cheese board.

  • Peanut Butter

    Most things taste better with peanut butter, don’t you think?! Try it on a toasted bagel with sliced bananas - so good! Or with sliced apples.

  • Veg crudites and dips

    Sliced vegetables like cucumbers, celery, carrots and radishes are so much tastier with dips! Hummus, Guacamole, and yogurt dips are some of the many you could try.

  • Popcorn

    Are your kids the sweet or salty kind? Or perhaps they prefer sweet and salty? However they like it popcorn is a good source of fiber and if you put it in a paperbag they might even think they’re at the cinema!

  • Smoothies

    Whip up a smoothie with a combination of fruit and yogurt. Try different combinations until you find your house favourites. Sneak in some vegetables (like spinach, cucumber or celery) to count towards your children’s 5 a day. Pour into cute glasses, add some ice and a straw to up the fun level!

  • Ice lollies

    You can freeze smoothies into ice cream moulds for tasty home-made ice lollies. Or how about making a summery watermelon ice lolly using watermelon juice and some lime? This doubles as a fun activity to do with the kids plus some new frozen snacks!

How do you go about handling the snacking in your homes? I’d love to hear about your children’s favourite healthy snacks!

Aiman