5 Surefire Steps to Stop Snacking

If you’ve ever considered putting a padlock on your snack cupboard to stop your kids (or you) from impromptu eating, read on! Whether your go-to is salty or sweet, Jennifer Cafelle, a mother of two with a master’s degree in education, recently offered these five surefire steps to keep your family’s snack cravings at bay, none of which require throwing away a key.

1. Create a routine.
First of all, avoid the temptation to get upset if your kids are asking for a snack. After all, the request is a natural response to what their bodies are telling them. Having a routine provides an automatic response to when they can next consume food. In addition to three daily meals, it’s okay to plan a morning and afternoon snack. As you get into your school year, you may find this printable daily schedule helpful.

2. Prep your snacks ahead of time.
Having some fresh fruits and veggies pre-cut can provide a quick, healthy choice that doesn’t require interrupting what you’re doing at the moment to prepare. For packaged foods, consider preparing portion sizes and add them to a personal snack basket so your kids aren’t choosing from an entire box or cupboard. If you have extra time to get creative, bring a smile to your child’s face with these butterfly snack packs.

3. Create well-balanced meals.
Do your best to provide multiple food groups at each meal. A well-balanced meal is much more likely to lead your kids to say “I’m full” (followed by the classic dad joke at the table, “Hi, Full!”) When it comes to snacks, look to provide your kids with protein and fiber. To help you plan your meals, download our free meal plan and shopping list printable!

4. Stay busy.
“When kids aren’t sure what to do with themselves, it’s easy to wind up in the kitchen looking for another thing to eat, even when they don’t feel hungry,” said Cafelle. “By providing enough activities to keep your children busy, they will likely be engaged and not realize how quickly time passes.” For starters, try these fun crafts and activities.

5. Hydrate.
Sometimes what seems like hunger is really your body asking for water. Adults are encouraged to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Before you resort to giving a snack, encourage them to drink a glass of water instead. Providing your child with a fun water bottle can also be a way to keep them hydrated. In addition to challenging yourself to drink enough water, remember these other healthy daily activities.

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