Tuesday, March 02, 2010

To Snack or Not to Snack?

I have a son, as you probably all know. (Duh!) He is beginning to fall into that "typical boy" mode of being a black hole of food consumption. I mean, that kid can EAT! He can pack away an adult-sized chicken nugget meal with no problem! (Not that that's the healthiest option for dining, I'm fully aware. We don't do that often.) He will finish lunch or dinner and then, an hour later, say that he's hungry. Sometimes I think that he is genuinely hungry and sometimes I think he's just bored, so I'm really trying to find a healthy eating balance for him, and Reilly, too. 
While I'm a big supporter of "clean your plate" at meals, I want my kids to be in the habit of ceasing to put food in their mouths when they're full, whether or not their plates are clean. I know that part of the reason that I put on weight over the years was because I kept eating when I was full, simply because it tasted  good. Just the other day, Declan said, "My stomach is telling me that I'm full, but my mouth is telling me to keep on eating." Man, how many times have I felt THAT?! It was a great teaching moment! I'm also trying to teach them to not let their eyes be bigger than their stomachs, and only put the amount of food on their plate that they think they're going to eat.
Especially with Declan, I'm trying to figure out when he is really  hungry and when he's just looking for something to do. This can really be kind of tricky, and I worry that I'm denying him snacks when he really needs something to eat. I'm also trying to teach him that our stomachs need not feel FULL all the time. Feeling hungry every once in awhile isn't a bad thing.
So, I'm on a quest to have at least most  of the snacks that we keep on hand be healthy snacks. Believe you me, I'm not opposed to a PopTart or chips for a snack every once in awhile, but I really want to be able to offer fruit or crackers or something like that most of the time. I was surprised at what I found when I googled "healthy snacks for kids" looking for recipes and ideas. More than one website offered mini pizzas as a good snack option. My mind boggled a little bit, because, as far as I'm concerned, the whole purpose of a snack is to tide you over until the next meal. Pizza is  a meal! (Plus, I'll just say it out loud, I'm a wee bit too lazy to cook mini pizzas mid-afternoon.)
Anyway, I don't really have a good punch line for this post, and I realize that you may have fallen asleep somewhere in the middle of reading. Sorry about that. Wipe the drool off your chin and return to your regularly scheduled day!


Mama Teaching 2 said...

Ha ha. I have two black holes named Remy and Eli. Sam's is my bestfriend.

They love yogurt, crackers and cheese, chips and salsa, string cheese, etc. When I was younger my mother would flatten a piece of whole wheat bread without edges, layer a thin layer of PB and some thin sliced bananas and roll. I loved them. I also liked cheese roll up in a ham or turkey meat roll. You could even cut the PB and banana thing in slices like sushi.

No Drama Mamma said...

When you figure out how to teach them not to let their eyes be bigger than their stomachs, let me know so that I can explain that to Andrew! :)

Sherri said...

I've had to remove unheallthy snacks too and try to replace them with better things. It is unreal how much Madison eats. It's a good thing for her that she has yet to start putting on weight from it. Carter goes through spells of eating alot but not often enough.... He need to gaiin weight! Patrick is the one who o have to encourage to eat right. He has a habit of picking around with the real food then trying to fill up on junk. I had to take all poptarts out of the house because he gained so much weight snacking on them between meals.... Or in place of meals. It's hard when you know they ate hungry.... Such a fine balance!!!

Rebecca said...

WHO cooks mini-pizzas mid-afternoon? No one! Everyone is too busy sleeping off lunch! haha...good post though...made me think about our choices! Thanks!

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I have three kids with small appetites and one with a huge one. He is 20 months old. Heaven help me when he gets older.