Hands up who lives in a household of hungry people? We are one of those families for whom the best part of the day revolves around what we are going to eat next. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are always hot topics of conversation. Butt what trumps that above all else is….snacks! If you’re anything like me, you will find that the need to snack seems to be quite urgent among little people. So what is it about snacking and why do children need to snack anyway?
Permission to snack miss please!
Personally, if I tried to go between meals without snacking, I would be pretty useless. As someone with reactive hypoglycemia, I just need those snacks to keep my energy up and blood sugar levels stable. But what about little people?
Yes, it might feel like our little ones are poking and prodding us endlessly for snacks but there is a good reason for that! I’m not talking about feeding them with endless snacks all day, which can interfere with them actually eating their main meals. But a morning and an afternoon snack is most definitely required from my experience, to manager hunger and keep energy levels stable.
Keeping their energy up
The days when my daughter has somehow missed an afternoon snack because she has been off gallivanting without me, she will be practically slumped over the dinner table she will be so low on energy come the evening. Too tired even to eat dinner, and that’s definitely something best avoided.
Depending on their age, most children need to eat around every three to four hours – so you see, stretching from breakfast to lunch, or lunch to dinner can be somewhat problematic for them. In our house that is an absolute given.
How often should children snack then?
I tend to offer a snack around two and half hours to three hours after one meal, but not less than a couple of hours before the next meal is due to kick off…if I want it to ACTUALLY be eaten anyway. Otherwise, you can be sure that mealtimes will be a total struggle, and more likely to be a showground for the most annoying kind of fussy eating imaginable.
Leaving just enough time after snacking and before a meal means they are just the right level of hungry. Not head on the table depleted of energy with their brains halfway out of their ears, but not hey I’m full of snacks and couldn’t give two hoots about dinner!
Snacks are also important because children have smaller tummies than us. That means that they can only eat smaller portions at a time, and need to eat more frequent snacks to get their daily nutrients. The smaller they are, the smaller their tummies, and the more important snacks may be, relatively speaking.
Go forth and snack!
As you can see, I’m a big advocate of snacking. There’s no doubt about it – children need to snack. But we as parents need to make sure they are not oversnacking to ensure they are ready (and willing!) to eat at mealtimes. We can also help them by having a good supply of nutrient rich snacks to help them get the goodness they need throughout the day.
And with that said, here’s your chance to win a stash of summer snacks to keep your littles happy and powered up inbetween those meal times!
We’ve put together a scrummy summer snack stash for your children that includes EQUINOX Kombucha, 72% Cacoa Ombar Raw Organic Buttons, Ombar Raw Organic Raspberry & Coconut Centre, Nairn’s Pop Oats, Nairn’s Cheese Crackers, Nairn’s Oat Bars and SHORE Seaweed Puffs!