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Hungry Tummies During School Hols

How many times a day do you hear "mum I'm hungry!", every day? Yep, its school holidays! They are full of fun, full of chaos, and full of "mum, I',m hungry!". Honestly, if I received just $1 for every time someone asked me for food every day during the school holidays, I could just retire early.

Now, is it that I'm not feeding them enough? Unlikely. Is it that they are bored? Probably not. The first thing to do is work out whether they are actually hungry. I'm a big fan of talking to kids about this and making sure they are in tune with genuine hunger stills versus comfort/boredum eating. How long since they last ate? How much did they eat? What have you been doing since then.

Though the question that I know you really want answered is "what on earth do I feed my Hungry Little Caterpillar"? Your kids are growing little bodies, hopefully they have spent a lot of time moving those growing little bodies. The best thing you can feed them, is honestly the easiest thing you can feed them. Think whole foods like: hummus and veggie sticks, a piece of fruit, homemade popcorn, a slice of toast with nut butter, some yogurt topped with nuts or berries, smashed avocado with wholegrain crackers or veggies to dip them in, or a small smoothie as a few examples.

"But my child won't eat that". Honestly, make it clear that if they want a snack they have, call it two, food choices. Otherwise, they can wait until the next meal time. If they are genuinely hungry, they will most likely eat it. The important lesson here for our kids is "snacks" versus "treats". Too often the line between these is too fine, even in us as adults. Now is the opportunity to build those healthy lifelong habits in our kids.

The other thing is to ask your kids what they feel like. My daughter less so, but my son most certainly has a sweet tooth. If I ask him what he'd like to eat he will often say "I don't know, something sweet?". To which my answer is, "well you can have a piece of fruit". I'll often get a sheepish grin at this point before he goes and grabs a piece of fruit of his choice. He tried it on. He knows that we don't just eat sweets when we are hungry, but he will put it out there, just in case. Sometimes he will even say "never mind, I'm not hungry" and I'm completely OK with that too. Its important that our kids learn the difference between feeling like food and actual hunger. Learning these skills at a young age will help them to build healthy habits to carry through to adulthood.

So don't feel pressured by whinging. Keep the basics in the house and on offer as a morning or afternoon tea. But most of the processed snacks, even the ones that say they are healthy, aren't. And you don't need to be baking every day either.

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