In the old days – you know, when our boys went to school and camp reliably – the kids complained that after a long day in class or playing with friends, there was nothing to eat, but at least you had a few hours Nobody asked you for a snack. However, now that everyone is floating around the house around the clock, these teenagers rummage in the pantry or fridge every time they turn around.
Sure, sometimes they eat out of boredom – we all do. But if your kids are the eternal type of chips and crackers, they're likely to graze all the time because they're never really happy. Maybe they would benefit from more protein in their lives. Snacks that contain a balanced amount of protein, products, and carbohydrates can satisfy a child's hunger all day long. In other words, high-protein snacks can wonderfully close the gap between snack and meal times.
Protein is important for everyone, but especially for active children, says Becca McConville, a sports dietician and eating disorders specialist in Kansas City, KS. It promotes muscle and bone development and helps in the production of immune cells to ward off viruses and infections and at the same time alleviate hunger attacks.
But what are the best and tastiest ways for kids to get their protein? We asked McConville and Leslie Bonci, a nutritionist and registered nutritionist in Pittsburgh, PA, for strategies to help your insatiable (yet so picky!) Little animals feel full.
Experts agree that children should consume approximately 1 gram of protein per 2 pounds of body weight daily. However, since your body can only consume a certain amount of protein at a time, it is important to distribute this throughout the day. In other words, high-protein snacks that contain dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates are the way to go – think of oatmeal with peanut butter and a side dish of sausage for breakfast, followed by a snack plate of fruit, hummus, and pita, a similarly balanced one Lunch and so on. You stay full (and happy) without going overboard.
Make it fun
According to Bonci, owner of Leslie's Active Eating Advice and Kansas City Chiefs nutritionist, protein should be the type of food kids want to eat to pass the picky food test. "Children love animal protein products like turkey or mini sausages," she says. “They love things that can be shared, such as nuts, hummus and even edamame. Peanut butter can also work – especially if you serve it with apple slices or pretzels. “Johnsonville's snacks with two bites fit the bill perfectly – they are smoked mini sausages in three delicious flavors (Smoky Cheddar, Sweet & Smoky Maple and Pizza) that are ready in 20 seconds and deliver 8 grams of protein per serving.
Avoid excess sugar
You least expect it here. Keep the little ones away from protein bars and energy bars, which often contain too much of it, says Bonci. And since eating sugar makes you want more sugar, a minimum of sugary snacks has a positive effect on your diet. A surefire win: instead of giving kids a bar or graham cracker, swap out a protein-rich bite and another meal they like (cheese, please!).
Keep it simple
Snacks should be simple – to prepare and eat. McConville's rule: Parents should not spend more time preparing a snack than children need to enjoy it. "Portability and convenience are important, especially on days when children's energy levels remain high and concentration can make the difference between winning or losing," says McConville. (Yes, one day there will be sports games again!) Her favorite options, which she has at home and on the go: dried fruits, cheese and sausages like Johnsonville Snackers, yoghurt and smoothies packed with protein oat milk.
Conclusion: high-protein snacks can provide children with electricity all day long. Try to include more of it this summer to give yourself (and your last nerve) a break.
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