Most single moms give their kids snacks every day. Sometimes it’s between lunch and the evening meal, and sometimes the kids are in the routine of having a light treat before they go to bed. While a treat is always welcomed by the child, many moms have discovered that the treat is a good way to sneak in those extra nutrients that the kids may have been shorted during the day.
It’s best to keep the bedtime snack light, but the mid afternoon snack is fair game as long as it won’t ruin the appetites for dinner. It’s a good time for a smoothie, especially if it offers the opportunity to sneak in some of the raw vegetables you have prepped for dinner.
Crackers with cheese or peanut butter will also help stop little tummies from growling between meals, especially if the kids are able to put the spreads on the crackers themselves. Any cracker that the kids like will do, but the choice that mom picks out in the store offers an added chance to add nutritious value to the snack.
Once kids are used to getting milk and cookies or other sweet treats as a snack, it may be hard to get them to settle for something a bit healthier. The trick is to make it fun. Slices of fruit, cut into fun shapes with a cookie cutter can make kids forget all about the sugar filled treats. Give them a firm plastic straw and chunks of fruit and let them make kabobs.
Cut a sandwich into geometric shapes and have the kids put it together before they start eating it. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy it enough not to notice that you’re attempting to fill them up with nutrition because dinner is going to be late.
You don’t have to prepare the snacks yourself in order for them to be nutritious. A bowl full of purchased baked vegetable chips, especially those labeled low sodium, are an easy snack that the kids will enjoy munching on while they do their homework. String cheese, raisins and even popcorn flavored with herbs instead of salt and butter will satisfy hunger pains and not interfere with the next meal.
Keep track of the snacks and treats the kids are getting throughout the day. If you’re in the habit of giving the kids both an after school snack and a bedtime snack, with a treat to eat on the drive back home after running errands, the kids might be getting more sugar, salt or fat that you realize. If the kids have visited another home for a play date or have been invited out to the matinee, chances are that they’ve been treated to snacks that they’ve forgotten to tell you about.