Updated: Mar 20
Ahh the dulcet tones of a bored child! Notice I say bored because so often when we (and I include adults in this) want a snack, we’re actually looking for a pleasurable distraction!
The fear of hearing this on repeat is what’s keeping me awake at night – not the thought of coming down with you know what. So I need a plan – and I suspect you do too……
1. Make sure you stick to regular meal times. That breakfast, lunch and dinner at the time which they would normally eat at preschool/nursery or school.
2. Make those meals balanced – that means aiming for some fruit and/or veg, protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates.
These foods in combination provide great sources of vitamins, minerals and fuel to keep tummies full
3. If your small has a favourite school/nursery meal, can you recreate it at home?
4. Stick to regular snack times and avoid the constant grazing approach. So many children refuse main meals, simply because they are not hungry enough! They have filled up on snacks throughout the day. Ideally snacks should be twice a day (morning and afternoon).
5. Make snacks count! Every time you offer your child something to eat we want to be thinking about what this adds to their diet. If it’s nutritionally devoid, processed or high in sugar/salt then ask yourself what is the purpose?
6. Keep them hydrated. It’s quite common to confuse thirst with hunger so make sure your child has continued access to fresh water in their favourite cup/beaker or travel bottle. And on that note. Avoid juices and squashes which provide empty calories (remember what I said about food being nutritionally devoid!)
7. We all have some less than ideal foods in our cupboards but the trick is the keep the quantities small and hidden. We don’t miss what we don’t see. I’ve just polished off my daughter’s Easter Egg from school (she doesn’t like chocolate mwwhhaaa!) because it was open on my desk.
8. Keep fruits, cut veggies, dips and other snacks in view. Prep things before they need to be eaten it’s much more likely someone will eat carrot sticks and hummus if the carrot is already cut.
9. Portion control is also key. Decant snacks into individual portion to ensure no one over eats!
10. And if they are still going on about being hungry try the age-old art of distraction! Star jumps in the garden anyone?!
And if you're in need of some snacking inspiration, our list below all get the Happy Tums seal of approval:
Veg sticks (carrot, cucmber, pepper, celery etc.) or bread sticks and hummus
Peanut butter on toast
Happy Tums Freezer muffins
Piece of fruit
Mini meals – small portions of a main meal. E.g. pesto pasta
Natural plain yoghurt and chopped fruit
Crackers and cheese
Cheese and grapes or apple
Prawns with mayo/paprika dip
Smashed avocado on oat cakes
Cheese and tomato or pineapple on sticks
Mixed nuts & raisins (avoid whole nuts in the under 5’s – chop them)
Rice cakes or bread sticks and cream cheese
Falafels and pakora
Bananas, apples etc
Carrot sticks and home-made dip
Cooked meat (avoiding processed meats like ham & sausage)
Please do let us know if your children have any favourite healthy snacks!
Wishing you good health and a tonne of patience!
P.S. We have moved all of our weaning and fussy eater workshops to an interactive online format. We are still here to give all parents the very best advice when it comes to weaning and feeding children https://www.happytums.co.uk/bookonline