It seems like quite a few of us are dealing with this situation right now! Increased appetites for growing kids is normal. Let me know if the tips below help you out.
First thing to do is to check they are having their main meals and that they do not need an increase in portion size, e.g. an extra slice of bread or fruit for the school lunch bag.
Next step: check that they are well hydrated! A jug of cold water should always be on hand for these hot days – get kids to fill up on this first when they get home.
Meal content: scrutinise their main meals. Is there whole grain and fibre which will help keep them full for longer? Is there protein at each meal? Are they chewing well and not rushing through a meal? Are they distracted when eating? All this impacts on satiety. Please consider seeing a dietician who will assess your child’s growth and their nutrient needs, and help you individualise an eating plan that suits them.
Get smart about snacks: yogurt and microwave popcorn are my stand by items for snacking at home and have the added advantage of requiring minimal / self preparation. Involve kids in their snack choices and meet them halfway. Be realistic – do not expect kids to grow up without chips or sweets. Have a dedicated snack bowl of a realistic size so kids learn to portion. Only buy mini sizes of the snacks kids love – like chips, sweets and chocolates. Prepare in advance and have the fridge and freezer well stocked for the week ahead. Look at ways to add nuts, dried fruit and oats to your baking recipes and to cut down on sugar.
We all need some inspiration – here are a few ideas for you. I have organised them by cold, sweet and savoury.
Cold: frozen yogurt lollies, frozen fruit juice lollies, fresh fruit salad and custard, milk jelly, milkshakes, fruit shakes
Sweet: crumpets, pancakes, oat/nut crunchies, date and nut balls (roll in dessicated coconut and cocoa), cereal and milk
Savoury: scones with cheese/jam, scone mini pizza bases with baked beans or chicken, scone pinwheels with tuna or mince and grated carrots, sweetcorn muffins, zucchini fritters, fish cakes, quick mix chevda(cornflakes, nuts, sultanas, coconut), veg sticks, plain biscuits like cream crackers, or rice cakes and a dip (cream cheese, peanut butter, hummus, butter bean puree, liver or salmon pate for the experienced palates). Cater to their palates – plain yogurt (salted) and some feta and olives is regarded as a winner for my daughter.
P.S. This article has been tweenager approved