Summer is also known to many parents as “snacking season.” For some reason, kids seem to reach for food in the summer all day, every day.
“Anytime we’re out of our routine we tend to lean on food a little bit for comfort and something to do when we’re bored,” GIANT nutritionist Shanna Shultz said. “That can definitely then trickle into summer, too.”
Shultz says it’s important to give kids snacks that will keep them full longer. The best way to do that is to make sure the snack has either protein or a healthy fat. A few examples include cheese sticks, peanut butter, avocado, trail mix or protein smoothies. She says to seek granola bars with high protein and lower added sugar. And when possible, make sure snack 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. “If they’re reaching into a bowl of something you’re giving them, they’re just going to keep eating while they’re watching TV or what have you.”
Another trick is to make fruits and veggies more fun by presenting them in different ways. You could stick a popsicle stick into pre-sliced watermelon to mimic a frozen treat. You could also add berries and a little whipped cream to an ice cream cone for a fun summer snack.