Top Tips to Keep After School Snacking Under Control!

Check out these great tips from our resident dietician, Tanya. Tanya is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sports Dietitian, Qualified Personal Trainer and Co-Director of Life Personal Trainers, a boutique personal training company with studios in Hutt Street, Unley Road and Kent Town. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tanya is also a mum of 3 delightful little girls and married to Kristin who is also a personal trainer and the Managing Director of Life Personal Trainers! She has over 10 years experience in private and paediatric clinical settings, which is why we love getting tips from her about ways to keep our youngsters fit, healthy, happy and loving their food.

Make sure you let us know if you have any questions you would like answered about your own diet or that of your children. Tanya is the person in the know and will be able to help steer us in the right direction.

Since school has started again, my children seem to constantly graze afterschool. From the time they come home, they keep asking for snacks but then sometimes don’t really want dinner. I am not sure how to determine if it’s real hunger and how to keep dinner appetizing.

It is not uncommon for children to be extra hungry afterschool, sometimes lunch time play gets in the way of finishing lunch or after a busy day of exertion they just have some catching up to do. Here are some strategies to help best manage the situation

  1. Keep to mainly low glycemic index options in the lunch box such as unrefined grains (oat biscuits, multigrain bread), dairy and/or fruit. This means the carbohydrate in the food is more slowly digested and absorbed rather than more processed options such as rice biscuits and white bread which provide a fast but short lasting burst of energy.
  2. Include some protein in the lunch box such as boiled egg, cheese stick, yoghurt, turkey, baked beans (*with appropriate insulation and cooler). Protein is known for its ability to keep you full for longer. While most children meet daily protein recommendations quite easily, often it is skewed towards the end of the day and it may be helpful to space it out to when they are most active and hungry.
  3. Provide a substantial snack straight after school. If your child likes snacking and is asking for food after school then make the most of this hunger and make the snacks count. Vegetable sticks and dip, multigrain toast or fruit and yoghurt. It is also ok to offer any left-overs from the night before and then not worry too much if they don’t feel like dinner knowing that they’ve had a balanced snack including vegetables earlier on. Don’t force them to finish their meal, simply save it for the next day when they’re hungry at 4.30!
  4. Be aware of dental hygiene. Constant snacking especially on things like dried fruit, cereal and mueslibars can increase risk of decay. Offer some water after snacking.
  5. Be aware of mindless eating. Snacks should be consumed at the kitchen table, not in front of the TV or during homework. If your child is not keen to sit down for a snack then perhaps they’re not hungry and just eating out of habit?
  6. Be aware of procrastinating and using snacks to avoid homework. Encourage your child to do something active before sitting straight down to homework. Depending on their age, try a trampoline if available, hide and seek, play hopscotch, skipping or go for a walk/scoot/ride.
  7. Hungry or thirsty? Provide water after school and encourage your child to bring their own drink bottle to school, especially in warmer weather.
  8. It’s ok to have a time where snacks are stopped being offered as the family meal is prepared. A hungry child is more likely to participate in the family meal.

To see Tanya or one of her team, visit their website

Life Personal Trainers
Adelaide – Unley – Kent Town
‘Enhanced Lives, Authentic Relationships & an Outstanding Reputation’

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