How are you doing? I hope you are all well and happy 🙂
School has started and it’s no longer holiday (sigh- unfortunately). It is very important to keep nutrition on top of everything, especially if you (or your kids) are still in school/high school/uni. School can be very stressful and demanding. As a student, I totally understand. Some days, I feel like crashing on the couch. It doesn’t seem too physically tiring because you tend to sit all day and listen to a lecture, however, your brain do all the hard work. It is hard. Your brain is like a sponge- squeezing and absorbing information as much as it could. After several hours at school, you go home and your homework is waiting (and piling up).
That’s why we get hungry when we get home from school. That’s also why we tend to graze and eat carelessly. Grazing is a very poor habit. I definitely discourage grazing, esp with kids. You wouldn’t want them to grow up with that habit. But don’t you worry because we have a solution for that ;P
When we’re hungry we tend to eat whatever’s available. Agree? Yes. I do. It’s been proven that people (yes, we’re not alone) do make poor food or snack choices when we’re hungry. We tend to choose high energy, fatty and sugary food when we’re hungry. This is also a good reason why we should not go shopping when you’re hungry :p
There are a few tips to get your way around that, such as:
1. Always keep washed-fruits ready to eat in the fridge. So whenever you are hungry and you feel like a snack, you can just grab them off the fridge. Easy! What I normally do is when I get home from groceries shopping, I wash all my fruits and keep it in a container in the fridge. And whenever I am hungry (normally after uni, before preparing dinner) I snack on a fruit. It’s also a good way to meet your 2serves of fruits-a day!
2. Low fat yoghurt, low fat milk and cheese on crackers are also great options! Low fat dairy products are great because they contain protein and Calcium. Protein and calcium are particularly essential in growth and development age, to help our muscles and bones to grow strong. Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends 2-3serves of dairy products a day. The important things to remember are 1) it is good for children over 2 years and above to have low-fat dairy products 2) unless you have lactose intolerance or milk-protein allergy, dairy products are the best source of Calcium for you. Yes, there are other foods which contain calcium, however research shows that calcium is best absorbed from dairy products. If you do have lactose intolerance or milk-protein allergy, you can always go for Calcium-fortified soy milk or rice milk or almond milk!
3. If they feel like something crunchy in texture, rather than going for a packet of chips, give them corn or rice cakes with peanut butter/mashed banana or vegemite. Lately, I have been snacking on vegemite on corn thins. They are yummy! If you feel like something sweet, try the combination of tahini+honey or ricotta+honey or apple+honey+cinnamon on a rice cake. Yum!
4. Fruits or vegetable (mini-)muffins are also great snack options. The beauty of a muffin is that you can hide fruit/vegetable in it and your champs will eat it without even knowing. You can hide grated zucchini, carrot, spinach, sweet corn, diced capsicum etc in a muffin. And there you go- 1/2-1 serve of vegetable in a muffin! Remember, Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends 2 serves of fruits and 5 serves of vegetables as part of a balanced diet. I always search my recipes from the healthy food guide website or Taste website. They have a lot of great recipes 🙂
I am currently trialing a few recipes on after-school snack ideas so hopefully I can post some healthy recipes on grainddiction soon!
Remember, snacks are just as important as main meals and should be tasty, appealing and nutritious. Foods that are high in refined sugar, salt and/or saturated fat should be limited ie. cream-filled or chocolate biscuits, chocolate bar, chips, corn chips, doughnuts, cream cakes, pastry, soft drinks, etc
What do you or your kids eat for after-noon/school snack? Why don’t you share with us 🙂