Are your kids always nagging for the chips, chocolate or lollies?
Do you wish they would fill up on healthy snacks and meals instead?
You’re not alone.
It can be difficult to get kids to stop eating junk food or fast food overnight.
Ok, make that impossible!
But by making small tweaks, you can set them up to make healthier food choices more often.
Here are 4 simple tips to reduce how much junk food your kids eat.
Start with a nutrient-rich breakfast
The easiest way to set your kids up for the day is with a filling and healthy breakfast.
But what does a healthy and filling breakfast mean?
Here’s a simple formula for you to follow:
Start with some protein with breakfast - This can be animal-based, such as salmon or eggs. Plant-based sources of protein such as beans, nuts and seeds can be a good option. If you’re making a smoothie, you might like to add a high-quality protein powder.
Add in some fruit or vegetables - Don’t wait until dinner to sneak in their 2+5 – that’s a recipe for frustration! If you can sneak in some vegetables with breakfast, go ahead. If your child has a favourite vegetable, find a way to incorporate it in. Fruit is still a good option if your child won’t eat their veg.
Don’t forget some fibre-rich carbohydrates - Kids need plenty of energy at breakfast to start their day. But a slow-burning energy is best. Carbohydrates that contain a good amount of fibre will give a steadier stream of energy over a longer period of time. Go for options such as wholegrain breads, oats, quinoa, sweet potato or potato.
Keep them well hydrated
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger as an adult.
So you can imagine how much harder it can be when you’re a kid!
But when a kid thinks that they are hungry, they don’t think about choosing something healthy.
They reach for whatever is going to give them a quick hit of energy.
And this usually means junk food!
What's the easy fix? Make sure that they stay hydrated.
I know that is easier said than done for most.
So here's a couple of tricks to get water into your kids without them complaining all day:
- Make them ice cubes using berries, orange slices or their fruit of choice. Add it into their water for a DIY infused water
- Over summer, make your own icy poles using water and a small amount of fruit juice or sliced fruit. Great for keeping cool and hydrating too
- If the weather is cooler, try some fruit-flavoured herbal teas
- Whip up a tasty smoothie. Choc banana smoothies are a winner with most kids!
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Stock up on healthy snacks for your kids
We all know that it’s only a matter of time before you hear that whine again, ‘I’m hungryyyyyy!’
Kids burn through a lot of energy between their physical activity levels and growth spurts.
So snacking constantly is their way of staying energised.
By stocking up on healthy kid-friendly snacks, you can keep them full and happy without the junk food.
Our favourite healthy snacks for kids include:
Make sure to have a good range of these healthy foods on hand to make your kids snacks healthy!
Fill them up something healthy before a party or event
You can stock all of the healthy snacks and foods at home for your kids.
But as soon as there is a birthday party or a social event, all bets are off.
You probably won’t be able to stop your child from eating junk food completely.
But if you give them a healthy meal or snack beforehand, they will eat less of it.
If you don’t have time for a full meal before you head off, add in a small nutrient-dense snack.
Why not try a Wholefoods Bar as a snack?
An easy way to to change and escape from buying junk food is by adding in a Wholefoods Bar into one of their meals (you can add them as your own daily snacks too).
They taste great, convenient and are full of nutrients too.
If you have one of these bars with any of the other 5 healthy snack options above, you know you're encouraging healthy eating habits for the whole family.
Not only that, over time you could break all of the unhealthy food habits for good!
You can have a look at the Super Cubes bars on the bars page from the menu.
There are many different flavour options to choose from, so just pick one that suits the whole family's taste buds.
Helping kids to make the right food decisions takes time and effort.
Trying to reduce junk food intake can also take a long time, but it's worth it for their health over the long term.
So, say no to eating junk food and yes to eating healthy.
For all of the family!