If you are a parent, you know that growing kids eat a lot! Some moms feel like they are constantly shopping for more groceries. Part of the problem isn’t that your kids are growing but it’s that you aren’t keeping the right foods around.
Our teenage son will ride his bike for 30-60 miles at a time. He comes home hungry, as you can imagine. But instead of letting him snack on fruit or crackers- basically empty calories, he fixes himself (or sometimes we fix it for him) pasta. Which is cheaper? Pasta or Fruit? Pasta! He can eat a huge bowl of pasta, refill after his bike ride and not break the bank.
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Most of the time when your kids complain “I’M HUNGRY” it’s actually “I’m Bored” or “I’m dehydrated”. American kids are NOT drinking enough water. So a good rule of thumb…keep track of when your kids are eating (make them sit down at the kitchen table- no running through the kitchen, grabbing something and running outside, no grazing etc. ) If it’s been 2 hours since the last “meal” or 200 calorie snack, go ahead and fix them something. But make it sensible. Guess what? It’s OK to make your kids feel some hunger pains. As a society we have gotten in the bad habit of always being full. Allowing your body to fully process food and be empty is OK.
WATER WATER WATER! When my kids say “I’m Hungry” I tell them to drink a mug of water first.
Here is a list of our GO TO FOODS for our kids
Steamed plain chicken breast (not breaded)
Hummus (remember, just a table spoon full!)
Multi grain bread (Just stop buying WHITE bread. It’s NOT healthy. )
Pasta (not a mac and cheese box, but just plain pasta with plain red sauce)
Apples (lots of fiber and so filling)
Plain non fat yogurt mixed with a half of scoop of protein powder = chocolate yogurt! (add in frozen mixed berries for a special treat
Hard boiled eggs
Ground turkey meat (made like taco meat)
Here are some examples of foods our kids regularly snack on:
Taco Salad- romaine lettuce, turkey taco meat (we always keep a container in the fridge), corn, black beans and salsa. So filling. So healthy. No need to add cheese or chips or sour cream etc
Cottage cheese. Maybe some pretzels or blueberries to mix in
Salad plate with the following: hard boiled egg, humus, variety of veggies and a few pretzels
Pasta with a simple red sauce. Side of veggies
Half a banana, half a tablespoon of Almond butter, 2 salami slices and some pretzels.
Ditch the sodas and juices. Your kids don’t need that stuff (and neither do you).
Give these suggestions a week and see how your grocery bill changes. Start now to raise healthy kids.