photo by Jannis Brandt via Unsplash
Smart Summertime Snacking
June 13, 2020 | by amanda ryan
As we settle into hot summer days, the pool isn’t the only thing we get into. Our snack cupboard is another thing around the house we find ourselves going to more and more when we’re home. Many of us are home because of quarantine, so having a cupboard full of sugary, fatty, and delicious treats calling our names is a recipe for disaster!
If you’re trying to stay healthy this summer (and keep your kids eating healthy) creating healthy snacking habits is essential. Keep reading to learn about smart summertime snacking!
Keep Healthy Food Prepared
For many of us, we reach for junk food out of convenience. If you’re trying to enjoy a day in the sun, the last thing you or your kids want to do is spend an hour waiting for or preparing healthy food!
If you have the choice to chop up an apple and use 3 different pieces of kitchen equipment that need to be washed after, or grab a bag of chips, which one are you going to choose? Most of us will choose the easier option.
To make healthy eating more convenient, prep some healthy snacks in the beginning of the week. Cut up some melon, cucumber, broccoli, or strawberries and serve them with a yummy dip! Having healthy snacks that you can grab and eat will make avoiding unhealthy snacks much easier.
Eat Filling Meals
While we sometimes reach for unhealthy snacks out of boredom, a lot of times we really are hungry between meals. So, we grab the snack that tastes the best to us. Making sure that you’re eating a well-balanced, satisfying amount of food at meals is essential for curbing unhealthy snack cravings.
Try to eat meals that contain a healthy balance of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Eating a carb-heavy meal with no protein, or a protein-heavy meal with no carbs will likely leave you feeling unsatisfied and more likely to snack.
A well-balanced meal would be whole grain avocado toast with a boiled egg and a fruit of your preference on the side. Or, a sandwich with turkey on it and carrots on the side. Make sure you’re getting enough food for each food group, so you and your kids aren’t tempted to go to the cookie jar in the middle of the day!
Limit the Unhealthy Food You Keep in the House
If you don’t keep unhealthy food in your house, you’re much less likely to eat it. If you’re craving a cookie or some chips and you don’t have it in your house, you’re probably not going to drive to get it, so you’ll find a healthy snack instead. Plus, your kids will eat what you have in the house, so they’ll be eating better as well.
Don’t deprive yourselves but keep the number of unhealthy snacks to a minimum. Or, sub out unhealthy snacks for healthier snacks. For example, if you love chocolate chip cookies, swap these out for chocolate chip oatmeal bars. Or, if you love salty chips, try to grab some savory veggie chips.
While it’s easy to start snacking in the summer when you’re home and your kids are home, summertime snacking doesn’t have to take a toll on your family’s health. By making conscious decisions about what you’re keeping in the house and what you’re planning, you can eat snacks that will give you the energy for a beach or pool day!
Amanda Ryan is a freelance writer specializing in child and family content. Within this content area she has about 5 years of experience. Her love for learning about family life led to earning a bachelor’s degree in child and family development from Western Michigan University. She loves to research and write about the things that can help make parenting a little easier!