Kids and Snacking

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I was going through my reader and found this article on kids snacking.

I have finally given into an after school snack.  Spencer gets a snack in kindergarten (which is, 99% of the time a cracker), he eats his lunch (which includes a “main item” – like a snadwich, a fruit, a veggie, a treat and water).  Then, when he comes home he always wants something sugary.  In the summer I often give popcicles just because i know they’re hot… but this article really made me re-think.  Constant snacking is OK, as long as it’s veggies. 

My WW teacher, on Saturday said, “if you have finished your meal and you’re so hungry you’d eat a can of green beans, then you’re actually hungry”… and I think this has to be true of the kids also.

If they’re so hungry they want an apple, carrot sticks or whatever fruit or veggie I provide after school then fine, eat… if not.  Don’t.

What’s your thoughts on snacking and kids?  Also, do you think it’s a good idea to include a small “treat” in their lunches.  This includes many items, like chips, cheetos (yum, they actually my own personal downfall), twinkies, home baked cookes, etc.  They just get a small portion.

I do think raising our kids having a constant snack of goldifsh crackers and juice is what got them where the obesity epidemic is today.  I don’t want to have my kids to have to go to weight watchers, I need them to be able to listen to their own bodies (btw, I never actually “got” an after school snack, but I did steal stuff a lot 😀 ).

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  1. says

    We always have a snack. There are three options

    a) whatever is left in your lunchbox (which is usually almost a whole lunch)
    b) a whole fruit or a vegetable plate with dip
    c) something they can make themselves if the other options are used up.

    After a whole day of work and play, Allison is starving! It’s a good reminder for me to eat something small too, so I don’t overdo it at dinner and after the kids are in bed.

  2. says

    We always have a snack. My kids are allowed whatever is left over from their lunchbox, a fruit or vegetable or the choice of yogurt or a string cheese. Most of my kids won’t drink milk so we have to get the calcium in them some way. Sometimes my kids want something else and complain but I’ve found if they really are hungry they’ll choose one of those things or just not eat, in which case they probably weren’t hungry in the first place.

    As for small treats in the lunchbox I do it occasionally. I take in consideration if we have had or plan to have those things some that week or not. I also include crackers in this category of “treats”. I think including a treat helps my kids feel like they aren’t deprived but are still learning we should have treats in small amounts with more importance on the fruit, veggies and grain.

  3. says

    First off…I read “WW teacher” and thought World of Warcraft?! Don’t worry…I got it 😀 .

    My mom was never that concerned about our snacking I guess. She usually gave us some kind of treat in our lunch as far as I can remember and I think I had snacks when I got home. I don’t really remember though when I was Conner and Spencer’s age. When I got older I’d just come home and grab something and if I couldn’t find anything then I’d hold out till dinner or eat something I didn’t really want…
    Since being in college I think the healthiest thing my mom taught me was to simply eat at home and to make the food…not processed tv dinners. We got in good habits of staying active with sports and play and if we were active I don’t think my mom cared if we had a snack. It’s harder now that I’m not on a sports team but I’m big enough now I know how to limit…or at least that I should limit.

  4. says

    I usually send a snack in their lunch. Something homemade and leftover from family night, which the only time we ever make anything remotely yummy anymore! The rule is they have to eat their whole sandwich and fruit before the treat.

    They also snack after school. Almost always its a cheese stick or apple slices or oragnes. Sometimes they want crackers, but they have to choose a “healthy snack” first.

    I don’t hate snacking because it’s a good way to keep your metabolism revved up. If you’re not eating high fat meals, your body especially needs the fuel more constantly. Most diets recommend snacking between meals. It’s the choice of snack that is obviously what makes the difference.

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