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How to Stop Your Kids Preferring Snacks to Regular Meals

How to Stop Your Kids Preferring Snacks to Regular Meals

I sit and watch as my son move the food around his plate. He’s clearly not hungry and doesn’t want to eat dinner. Especially as it isn’t his absolute favourite, spaghetti bolognese.

At times I feel that all my kids want to eat is snacks. Please tell me I’m not alone!

Actually, I know that I’m not alone. It’s a common complaint in my “happy healthy eating community”, that kids prefer snacks and then don’t eat their dinner.

What Can you Do About Kids Preferring Snacks?

There are two main issues that contribute to this problem.

Snacks Don’t Have to Be Unhealthy

The first is that by “snack food” people generally mean unhealthy packaged food. Or sweets and treats.

Let’s get real. Which kid is going to pick vegetables over cake?

The vast majority of kids like sweet things. Or anything that comes in a packet.

Solution: Re think the word “snack” to mean “something that I eat in between meal times”.

Snacks don’t have to be unhealthy.

Just think, if your child had been eating carrot sticks, celery and boiled eggs during the day, you wouldn’t be so worried about them not eating dinner.

Have a Healthy Eating Routine

The second problem is the one of routine. If your child eats half an hour before dinner, they aren’t going to be hungry at dinner time.

Solution: Have regular “feeding times”. Generally this equates to breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner.

Space the time out evenly. They don’t have to be exact times but roughly the same each day.

You get to pick what’s on the menu. The kids get to decide what and if they’re going to eat.

I know that sounds crazy but if you offer reasonable portions of treat food, they can’t eat an entire packet of cookies (which would probably give them all the calories they need for the entire day.)

Healthy Foods Plus Healthy Routine 

The combination of offering healthy foods at regular times will help your children eat their dinner properly.

If you offer healthy snacks (and treats in moderation) you won’t be worried even if they do most of their eating at “snack time”.

If you offer healthy snacks (and treats in moderation) you won’t be worried even if they do most of their eating at “snack time”.

Here are some tips and tricks that would make your toddler enjoy the meal and eat healthy at the same time - How to Stop Your Kids Preferring Snacks to Regular Meals

Dr Orlena K Follow

Dr Orlena is a pediatric doctor and mother of 4. She’s your personal cheerleader in teaching your kids happy healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

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Dani S

A very informative read indeed Dr Orlena KLoved it!

1 Year / report
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Dr Orlena K

Thanks Kathryn, Yes I think snacks are one of the keys to healthy eating! (That and not pressuring our kids to eat!)

1 Year / report
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Kathryn S

Love this information! My daughhter is definitely a snacker and you’re so right about choosing healthier snack options! 

1 Year / report
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