Children who snack throughout the day tend not to have a balanced diet, so encouraging your child to limit snacks in favor of a main meal is healthy, as well as making mealtimes less stressful.
This sounds great in theory, but if you’ve just emptied your child’s dinner, untouched, into the trash, it’s tempting to fall back on snacks later just so they eat something.
If this sounds familiar, you need to find the middle ground by offering a limited choice of nutritional snacks throughout the day.
How to limit your child’s snacks
Decorate an empty box or use a kitchen jar. Put the child’s name on it and use multiple boxes or jars if you have more than one child. Leave it somewhere accessible.
Involve your child in choosing a selection of snacks at the supermarket or bake some of your own.
Keep the snacks healthy. Children will enjoy the reward ritual of the snack jar as much as the snacks themselves, they don’t need to be full of sugar!
Put a selection of two or three snacks (or more, depending on how filling they are and how old your child is) in the jar, and give your child control over when they eat them.
Use the snack box throughout the day and allow your child to choose when to take something out, except during the hour before mealtimes.
Once the snacks are gone for the day, don’t replace them. Refill the box or jar together the next day.
Be consistent about what’s in the box and what they’re allowed (for example, they can’t choose chocolate bars but they can have chocolate chip cookies or cereal bars).
Healthy snack ideas for kids