“Mom, I’m Hungry!” Curbing the Constant Snacking

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Do you hear “Mom, I’m hungry!” at least 20 times a day?! Do you want to pull your hair out if you hear that phrase one more time? If so, I hear you. Snacking can feel so time-consuming and never-ending. Especially now, when many of us are home all the time. Curbing the constant snacking is so hard, particularly when you have things to accomplish outside of the kitchen. While we love to snack in our family, I just don’t want it to be an all day activity. So, I just try to serve as many nutrient-dense foods as possible to help fill our bellies and keep my girls from saying, “I’m hungry!” every hour.

Below are a few tips to help curb the constant snacking:

1. Try serving a mini-meal instead of a traditional packaged snack.

Think of including fiber (fruit and or veggie), a protein, (hummus, cheese, turkey rolls, or power balls), and healthy fat (guacamole, nuts, or nut butter). Protein and fat are satiating macronutrients, therefore they help us stay full longer. Hopefully, this will curtail the constant snacking.

2. Minimize packaged snacks.

Things like crackers and chips have no nutritional value and therefore are empty calories. Part of curbing the constant snacking is cutting out these choices. Many packaged snacks have additives and flavor enhancers, making them highly palatable and hard to stop eating. They also won’t fill us up and therefore leave us wanting more. Not filling snacks = kids always hungry. If you do serve chips or crackers, think about serving them with hummus, guacamole, or cheese for added nutrients to help fill our children’s bellies.

3. Try a snack tray!

Create a snack tray or fill a muffin tin with a variety of food choices. Then, leave it on the counter for a couple of hours. This allows kids to eat when they are hungry therefore becoming more independent around snacks. Most of the time, I just place a variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, and crackers on a plate or cutting board. 

Platter of food - curbing the constant snacking with snack trays4. Kids always hungry? Try one of these go-to filling snacks:

• Chomps or Epic Meat sticks/Bites
• Trail mix made with raw nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips
• Hard boiled or deviled eggs
• Rice cake with nut butter and fresh fruit on top
• Veggie sticks and hummus
• Simple Mills Almond flour crackers and cheese
• Siete chips with guacamole
• Apple slices with nut butter
• Applegate turkey and cheese rolls
• Larabars
• Fresh fruit salad with plain or lightly sweetened yogurt topped with Purely Elizabeth granola
• Ants on a log made with celery, nut butter, and raisins or cream cheese and olives

5. Cook or bake with your children!

I know time is limited, but consider baking with your children as a fun, bonding activity. As a result, they’ll gain important life-long kitchen skills and be more likely to try new foods. Plus, they will also appreciate special time with their mom or dad in the kitchen. If your kids always want to eat, teach them how to make some food!  

My two favorite go-to snacks, which I make weekly, are power balls and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. 

Favorite Recipes:

Power Balls

Ingredients:
1 cup nuts
½ cup seeds
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6 dates
2 tablespoons salted almond butter

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients into a food processor.
2. Blend until fully combined.
3. Form into bite-sized balls.
4. Place in an airtight container in the fridge.

Note: This recipe is very flexible. Experiment with adding different combinations of your favorite nuts and try new nuts as well. We love almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, and pecans. For seeds, try pumpkin, sunflower, or hemp seeds. Have your little chef help form the balls. If the balls aren’t sticking together, add more almond butter. Children love being taste-testers. If the balls aren’t sweet enough, feel free to add one or two more dates.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe from VFit Studio

Ingredients:
2/3 c nut butter (I use almond butter)
1/3 c pumpkin puree (I use butternut squash or sweet potato puree)
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c dark chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand for its clean ingredients)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or use the silicone reusable muffin cups (my personal favorite).
3. Add all the ingredients in a food processor, except for the chocolate chips, and blend until combined. Hand mixing works fine too.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop batter into muffin liners.
5. Bake 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The muffins are packed with protein, fiber, and fat, making them a perfect snack or a small breakfast.

If your kids always want to eat but you’re looking to curb the constant snacking, be sure to try one of the options above. 

Looking for online opportunities to get your children involved in the kitchen? Misa’s Clean Kitchen is offering “Kids in the Kitchen” Cooking Classes as well as a “Raising Healthy Eaters” course.  See below for details.

little kid hands breaking egg over bowl. Curbing the constant snacking by getting your kids in the ktichen

  • My 3-week series “Kids in the Kitchen” Virtual Cooking Classes starts Thursday, November 5th, and runs through November 19th as well as Thursday, December 3rd through the 17th. We will be focusing on nutrient-dense baked snack goods. All classes run via zoom from 4 to 4:30 pm. Please email me at [email protected] to reserve your spot.
  • My 3-week, online, family nutrition program, “Raising Healthy Eaters” starts Monday, January 4th, 2021. It is geared towards helping children develop an appreciation for real food. Raising healthy eaters in a fast food, highly processed world is HARD! So, I meet you where you are in your family’s health journey without judgment through weekly tutorials, a one-on-one pantry makeover, “Kids in the Kitchen” cooking classes (both via zoom), daily food challenges. Additionally, you’ll get lots of family-friendly recipes and helpful handouts. Please reach out to reserve your spot at [email protected]

Hope to see you and your kids in the kitchen soon!

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