Snack Attack
January 26, 2010 · Posted in Discipline, Feeding, K-5 Kids, Preschoolers, Toddlerhood · Permalink

irresistible-snacks-2

Kids snacking and having “treats” throughout the day has exploded in the last decade. The article  Snack Time Never Ends in the The New York Times, January 20, 2010 presents data that, “between 1977 and 2002, the percent of the American population eating three or more snacks a day increased to 42 percent from 11 percent.”

From 2002 to 2008, one needs only to look around the playground to know that the trend has increased. Food is ubiquitous and adults and children are presented with constant eating opportunities. Add in the generational fear and antipathy to saying no to one’s children and you’ve got haggling and caving going on all day long!

Ellyn Slatter, dietitian and family therapist, is quoted in the article, “The parents’ job is to do the what, when and where of feeding,” she said, “and it is up to the children to do the how much and whether of eating. In order to have successful family meals, you have to structure the snacks.” Her book, Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, has long been one of Soho Parenting’s favorites.

Here are a few tips to curb snacking and unhealthy eating:

  • Snacks should be given at “Snack Time”: A scheduled time and place and not on the run. As Slatter wisely says “End grazing.”
  • A good snack is anything you would be happy to see on a child’s plate at a meal. Goldfish on the dinner plate? Fruit Roll up for breakfast? No?
  • No more than 2 snacks a day.
  • A snack and a treat are two different things. Treats are desserts, snacks are tiny meals.
  • Keep “treats” treats by offering them less often.
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