Summer is also known as “snacking season” among parents. For some reason, kids seem to reach for food in the summertime all day, every day.
“Anytime we’re out of our routine, we tend to lean on food for a little bit of comfort and something to do when we’re bored,” said GIANT nutritionist Shanna Shultz. “That can definitely then trickle into the summer, too.”
Shultz says it’s important to give kids snacks that will keep them feeling full longer. The best way to do that is to make sure the snack has either protein or a healthy fat. A few examples are cheese sticks, peanut butter, avocado, trail mix or protein smoothies. Parents should seek out granola bars with high protein and low added sugar. And when possible, make sure that food is pre-portioned.
“I think things being pre-portioned is super important with kids, just because they’re not being super mindful yet of their hunger cues,” Shultz said. “So if they’re reaching into a bowl of something you’re giving them, they’re just going to keep eating while the’yre watching tv.”
Another trick is to make fruits and vegetables more fun by presenting them in different ways. You could stick a popsicle stick into pre-sliced watermelon to mimic a popsicle or you could all berries and a little whipped cream to an ice cream cone.