'I'm Hungry'! 12 tricks to fill them up.
Do you ever get just a little tired of hearing the constant call of kids announcing, “I’m hungry ,” or ”What can I have to eat, Mum?” I know I sure do, and if you’re not prepared, it can be frustrating, relentless and annoying to say the least. In order to save your sanity, I’ve got a few quick and easy strategies that are guaranteed to lower your stress levels, and ensure you’re not stuck for an answer … ever again! As a parent, you know that preparation is the key to keeping things from going haywire.
So when that proclamation, “Mum… I’m hungry” is made in your house – you’ll be ready. You’ll be armed with the most nutritious, satisfying food imaginable and a few sneaky back-up strategies too. Plus there’s a bonus.
This is for all of us - not just the kids.
When you yourself are in need of a snack or want to treat yourself, use the same nourishing, simple strategies, and notice how you feel? And... how you look? It won't be long before you look and feel better yourself. Now, that’s multi-tasking taken to a whole new level!
12 Simple Strategies:
- Breakfast. Start the day well and enjoy a good, nourishing breakfast with plenty of satiating fats and protein for example eggs (of any kind) left-overs from the night before, nourishing smoothie, baked beans or a whole grain porridge dressed up with natural organic yogurt, seeds and nuts. Or join me on 'The Great Breakfast Adventure' to kickstart the best day! We start on the 11th of May.
- Fuel up with lots of healthy fats or protein as snacks ahead of simple carbohydrates e.g. biscuits and cake. These foods are so much more satiating and give them the nutrients their growing, hungry bodies need.Being organised is the key to success but... not always easy. Here are some ideas to help:
- A well stocked pantry, fridge or freezer with nourishing snacks ready to go e.g., homemade power balls, coconut ice balls with a zesty twist, bacon & egg pies, biltong, the chocolate alternative, homemade dips and pesto, chia seed pudding, rice cakes with butter or nut butter, organic coconut yoghurt, leftovers e.g. soup, sausages or other nourishing meals. If those snacks aren’t readily available, then:
- Pantry essentials ready to go. Have the basic ingredients on hand so you’re ready to create some nourishing magic at any time. Most of the snack recipes on my site take 5 minutes to prepare and no more than 15 minutes!
- Upgrade. If you're running short on time for preparing food and need to resort to packaged options, upgrade to choices that are; few in ingredients, use natural sugars (if any), don't use vegetable oils and use ingredients you can recognise i.e. aren't littered with numbers.Other ideas to help fill them up:
- Have a ‘cook-up’ on the weekend or any afternoon. Invite a couple of buddies over, and cook up a storm together and so you don't have to think so much about food during the week.
- Bring dinnertime forward. Quite often kids get back from school and they’re hungry and fill up on less nourishing foods. Making their dinner, afternoon tea - works a treat.
- A savoury afternoon tea. Alternatively enjoy a nourishing savory afternoon tea rather than a sweet one. It takes a bit of getting used to, but if you persist, you’ll see the benefits. Here are some ideas: anything with coconut, coconut & cinnamon chips, coconut milk smoothies, avocado dip or on a rice cracker, tinned sardines, nuts or a home-made granola, popcorn heated in coconut oil with butter, salt & cinnamon, sweet potato pizzas, (using sweet vegetables helps satisfy our cravings for sweetness), kale chips, green smoothies, leftovers, pate, patties, rissoles, egg pies with tomato, parmesan and bacon. For winter time, home-made soups with nourishing home-made bone stocks.
- Fuel up early. Enjoy lots of nourishing foods in the early part of the day with breakfast and lunch and snacks and there will be less hunger pains later on in the day!
- Avoid the processed, packaged, highly refined, nutrient-dead 'stuff' that literally does leave our bodies depleted and hungry and sends blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride.
- Enjoy being outside, exercising or starting a new project to help distract any thoughts of boredom or 'false hunger cues'.
- Drink water. Often cues for dehydration can be misinterpreted for hunger, especially in kids. At every opportunity give them filtered water.
The key to succeeding with many of these strategies is to include good quality fats and proteins in their whole forms. These foods in the right quantities provide great sustenance and leave our blood sugars stable. When these foods are regularly incorporated into our day, many of the reasons for hunger disappear. The more we cram these good nutrient rich foods in, the less the desire for sweetness and the more we recalibrate our taste buds to appreciate a more natural level of sweetness in our day.
We all know kids can be resistant to change & trying new things. Here are some ideas to help encourage your kids:
- Get them involved.
- Make new recipes together.
- Choose the ingredients together
- OR ask them to make a choice e.g., sweet potato pizza for afternoon tea or a delicious soup? When they choose, they still have a sense of control over the process!
- Join me on 'The Great Breakfast Adventure' for a fun way to kickstart new choices.
Experiment with one or two strategies and see how they work. How does your family respond? How does it affect the mood of the family? And then consider adding in another strategy, and so on, until those constant naggings of “I’m Hungry!” become a thing of the past or at least a LOT less often.