Children need to eat small meals often during the day as quite often they are burning energy just growing. Give your children some choice in what they eat while remembering that you are the adult (and the one paying for the food!). If you have always given your children a wide variety of healthy foods, snack preparation should be easy.
Why not let your children help choose snack foods when you are shopping. However you must still read the labels as many foods labeled 'fat free' still have high sugar and sodium levels and very high calories. Some breakfast bars make excellent snacks and often children love to 'eat breakfast' after school - let them have another bowl of cereal. Whole grain products will help keep your child feeling fuller for longer.
Have fun with food - use cookie or scone cutters on low fat cheese or wholegrain bread, make faces on the plate with various foods, make smoothies with low fat milk and fresh fruit.
Always keep a supply of snack food such as cut up carrot, celery, cucumber etc in the fridge and a bowl of fresh fruit on the table or counter top.
Encourage your children to drink plenty of water. You can make it different by having animal shape iceblocks, low calorie cordials (check the ingredients), crazy straws. Make iceblocks with fresh fruit juice and let your children suck on them in summer.
Make the lounge room, games room, bedroom etc 'food free zones'. Designate the kitchen as the 'snack room' to stop children zoning out in front of the tv with their snacks.
Always set a good example - make sure your children see you eating healthy snacks and drinking water in the kitchen. Make it a family affair - even if you're not particularly hungry, snack with your children. It won't take long for your eating cycles to coincide with theirs.
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