The Importance of Snacks

If you have kids I’m sure you here this phrase daily: “Mommy, I’m hungry!”  Sometimes I hear this (it seems) right after they have finished eating!  There are a few things that I have to remind myself of about kids and snacks so this doesn’t drive me crazy:

  1. The bodies (and bellies) of kids are small and their metabolisms are high.  This means that they really may be hungry and that they need to eat food more often than many adults.
  2. Meal times are important…the more nutrient density I can pack into meals, the more satisfied they will be (and for longer).
  3. Snacks are a great way to “sneak in” more fruits and vegetables.
  4. Snack times (and meal times) can be a great time of family togetherness and bonding…a daily routine that provides comfort and stability.
  5. Highly Sensitive Kids (of which I have three) are more sensitive to changes in blood sugar and the feelings of hunger.

Since discovering the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, I have also changed how I feed my family.  The back bone of THM eating is protein…every time you eat, you should be eating protein.  So, I make sure to feed my kids protein, especially with snacks.  Protein is needed for all repair and growth work in the body AND it helps keep you feeling full!  Protein also helps to regulate the blood sugar…no spikes and crashes (as long as it is eaten with healthy carbs and not lots of sugar or refined carbs)!

For my HSC scheduling snack times and meal times helps us to avoid the extreme grumpies that come with hungry bellies and falling blood sugars.  The predictability of a set time and routine also helps banish the question of “is it breakfast/lunch/supper/snack time yet?”  My kids are also a bit older (ages 8, 6 & 4), so I know that if they ate well at the last meal/snack then they can wait until the next scheduled food time.  If, for some reason, one child did not eat well at the last meal/snack time I just put it in the fridge and if they complain about being hungry then they can get what they didn’t eat or wait until the next food time…this usually helps to remedy the “picky eater” moments.

Here is our basic food schedule:

  • 7:30     Breakfast
  • 10:00   Snack
  • 12:00   Lunch
  • 3:00     Snack
  • 6:00     Supper
  • The kids usually are in bed around 8pm and since supper tends to be our largest meal of the day, we do not give them a snack before bed…if they are up late for some reason, we often give them another snack.

The crazy/funny thing is that since adopting the THM lifestyle I eat on this schedule too!  My metabolism has been increased to the point that I am hungry at these times…and I continued to loose weight and keep it off.

As a part of my capsule menu I have a list of snacks.  This helps me to always know what to serve and helps me always to keep healthy snack options around.  Here are some of the things on my list:

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Cheese (protein & fat) + fruit (carb)

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Fruit (carb) + nut butter (fat & protein)

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Cottage Berry Whip (from THM cookbook…FP)

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Organic corn chip (carb) + veggies + nut butter (fat)

These are just a sample of what we eat for snacks.  Bananas and peanut butter happen often as well as veggies with North Woods Dressing…this works especially well if supper is delayed waiting for Daddy to get home.  These chocolate high protein muffins are super yummy too!  This pudding recipe make a great frozen treat.  My “go-to” snack for on-the-go days is a homemade trail mix of nuts and dried fruit…usually almonds, cashew and dried cranberries.

Do you think making snack time a regular routine would help your kids?

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