I think I may have written about a similar subject in the not-too-distant past, probably because I was stranded in the middle of school holiday heaven/hell thinking about exactly the same thing – did my children always eat this much? All the time? Why are they permanently hungry? Am I doing something wrong? In that previous post, I think I waffled on about what you should never run out of under any circumstances. The condensed essence of that post is just the words MILK and BREAD. Seriously, I think our consumption of these foodstuffs equates to that of a small European country at this time of year. So much so that I have been panic buying milk and now have a little bit too much in the fridge. I think a mammoth cauliflower cheese might be in the works…
Anyway, this time another concern has been niggling. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of introducing diets into my household. I want to promote the idea of a healthy body image and not be worrying about fat content and calories and all that around impressionable youngsters. But on the flip side, children like snacks. Unhealthy ones. The ones that are easy to buy and store and give out when you’re pushed for time and imagination. And there’s nothing wrong with liking crisps, and eating them occasionally. I do it myself. Slightly more ‘occasionally’ than I really should but that’s for all of the reasons I just listed. But when it comes to my kids during the holidays, I really need to approach this sort of snacking with caution. I don’t want to start going on about ‘watching what we eat’ too much but at the same time, when there’s this much snacking going on, how to I get the balance right between healthy eating and exciting eating?
If you’ve got some time on your hands (unlikely, I know, but bear with me), then why not make your own? Flapjacks are easy and have a good balance of good stuff and not-so-good-but-quite-delicious stuff. And the main advantage of making them yourself (and getting your kids to help of course), is that you know exactly what’s going into them. There are plenty of easy recipes out there that aren’t too much of a faff – cheese scones, muffins, pancakes, even making your own bread. Not all of them ‘healthy’ in the truest sense of the word, but that’s not really the point. Substituting some of the processed stuff for some of homemade goodness is not about counting the calories, just giving them a healthier relationship with food and an understanding of where it comes.
Children are always going to want snacks, and it’s natural to worry about how this might affect their weight and fitness. But they’re growing and developing and they need the good stuff to do this. And if I get the balance right, I find I stop worrying a lot less.