Quick Reliable Snacks for Kids in a Hurry
What's Wrong with Snacking?
Hungry people lose their energy and become moody. They need something to sustain them until their next meal, having a snack solves that problem. Nothing is wrong with snacking on something healthy and at the right time of day. To do otherwise and eat sugary snacks, a person eventually gets a succession of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Having healthy snacks, like fruit or low-sugar protein bars, around a sports event, is a smart idea. Anyone involved in competitive sports knows the value of snacking on healthy food.
If the players are not heading home for a fulfilling lunch or a hearty dinner right after the game, a sweet apple or a bag of nuts will keep their energy up until they finally get home. Still, some players need an extra push of fuel in the middle of a game, swim meet, or track and field event.
Snacking is a habit for kids on the go or not on the go. Every parent knows what happens to their kids if they skip something to eat – meltdown or one grumpy kid.
The difficulty is that kids are not aware of how much they eat, even when they sit down for lunch or dinner.
They don’t think about compensating a snack for a meal or how many calories they consumed when they drank a box of juice or can of sugary soda. Most often, they eat more calories than their daily requirement, and the snacks are not healthy when they should be eating an apple, orange, or low-sugar power bar.
Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Being around a child or an adult who is hungry is not pleasant. They are grumpy and unnerving. The grumpy person draws the energy from the other people around them, too, so it causes an unpleasant experience for everyone.
Knowing what kind of snack to have and when to have it is crucial. Some people suffer from health problems such as low blood sugar or low iron levels. A nibble of food prevents them from becoming grumpy, and if it is severe enough, they might even experience light-headiness or nausea.
Yale Reports on Snacking Habits
Yale School of Medicine reports:
- High-calorie snacking is a significant cause of childhood obesity
- Children are getting 27% of their daily calories from snacks
- Most snack calories are not healthy choices, but sugary desserts, drinks, and salty chips.
Some adults set a poor example because they also snack without forethought and eat in boredom while watching television.
Top Snacking Habits to Avoid
- Mindless Self Indulgence — You eat a bag of chips or candy while watching a movie is dangerous. You munch away without noticing the bag junk food dwindling to nothing. Be aware and use a small serving bowl, put away the rest for another day.
- Eating Your Feelings — Bad days happen. You’ve all experienced it, but eating ice cream or cookies all the time leads to obesity and more health problems.
- Snacking at Night — Night time is the worse time to eat, so respect the cut off time. Not only is it not necessary, but it also interferes with sleep. Your body needs rest while it is sleeping, not digesting your food all night.
- Snacks are Not Meals — Snacks are small and healthy, not eating all day long. Eat an apple, an orange or a banana, rice cake with almond or peanut butter but small portions.
- Eat at Mealtimes — Eating a snack to replace a meal is not healthy. Your body needs a routine, so eat when it is breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Munching on snacks tend to be less healthy than meals. Meals are better for you. You can skip snacks, but not meals. Please don’t make it a habit of eating snacks as your meal because it will not curb your hunger.
Eating Between Meals
Most people know if they need a snack during the day for their wellbeing and mood. The best time to nibble in between meals is 10:30 AM or 3:30 PM. These times won’t interfere with your meals but keeps your energy level up. Don’t snack for the sake of eating. Munch on a snack if you are hungry.
Be smart and plan snacks around unexpected or expected shifts in your schedule. If you have a meeting at 11:30 and know it will run through lunch, eat an apple with almond butter as a snack. That way, your energy levels will sustain you, and you avoid the embarrassment of your stomach growling.
Regular exercise means snacks are a good idea. Eating before your workout ensures you have enough energy throughout your workout. A healthy snack like an orange or an apple after your exercise is just as important. Make sure it’s a nibble, not a meal. At lunch or dinner, you can replace the nutrients your body requires to function well.
What to Snack On?
At snack time and when you are at home or the office, you can concentrate on eating protein and fiber-rich foods like unsweetened yogurt, almonds, pears, blueberries, raspberries, or apples. All of these foods are rich in nutrients with vitamins and minerals.
When you are away from home, bring your snacks with you such as:
- A small bag of raw nuts contains protein
- A small piece of cheese or low-fat yogurt is just the right amount
- Hummus with carrot sticks or celery is good for the heart
- Easy to eat fruit like berries, apples, oranges, and bananas are ideal
- Wholesome crackers, pretzels, or trail mix are fun and tasty
Nibbling at Home
Snack time at home is a fun option because you have the freedom of many choices. Don't go hog wild. Keep the portions small. Some good choices are:
- Kale, pineapple, berry smoothies with coconut milk or water
- Cream cheese on a piece of toast with fresh berries
- Banana with Nut Butter
What Do You Like to Snack On?
Creating yummy snacks requires bright ideas. I whip up hummus and fresh-cut vegetables as a snack during the day. We get busy, and in a rush, so hummus and veggies take the edge off the day as a perfect fast snack. Hummus is a recipe that is easy to make. It consists of chickpeas, tahini, oil, and lemon. Whipping these ingredients together makes an excellent source of energy. The veggies I use are carrots, celery, cucumber slices, and beets.
You don't have time to make hummus. Reach for a banana and head out the door. Bananas are fantastic as a "pick me up fruit" because they are a great source of energy. They contain carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin B6. All are energy boosters for the body and keep you going and avoiding the afternoon slumps.
High Energy Balls
High Energy Balls are perfect for anyone who gets tired of nuts, dried fruit, or fresh fruit as snacks during the day. The balls are easy to make. You combine equal amounts of toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, toasted chopped walnuts or pecans, chopped apricots or mangoes, and raisins. Using a medium-size bowl combine the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Then, add enough almond butter to make the ingredients stick together. The ratio should be 2 cups of nuts and dried fruit to 1 1/2 cups of almond butter.
Then, add honey and sea salt to taste with a zest of one orange.
Mix the ingredients, roll 1-inch balls, and roll them in shredded coconut. Store the High Energy Balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I substitute ingredients based on what I have in my kitchen. I add herbs and flaxseed or chia seeds.
Snack Love Notes
It’s most satisfying to consider snacks as a special treat, and fun pick me up in the middle of the day. Preparing your refreshments with foresight makes the whole process more practical and not spontaneous or mindless. The idea is to get creative and appreciate taking care of yourself.
Yale School of Medicine
- Study finds snacking is a major cause of child obesity | Yale School of Medicine
A new study has found that high-calorie snacking is proving to be a major cause of childhood obesity.
© 2019 Kenna McHugh