Got the “hungry after school” blues?

When children come home from school they usually enter the home with an appetite. What should you do about that if it’s not quite dinnertime? First, try and see if your child is thirsty. Many times we are able to curb our hunger with water. In fact, it is common to confuse being hungry with being thirsty. You may also consider putting a bottle of water in the side pocket of your child’s book bag to quench thirst, or include an additional snack within their lunch box to have on the way home. In any case, it would be a great idea to feed them a small snack that will carry them through until dinner is prepared.

 Here are some quick snack options:

  1. Hand full of grapes
  2. Crackers
  3. Pretzels and hummus

In addition to curbing their appetite when they arrive home, you may also consider changing a few lunch items in order to be more filling, or to increase satiety. Satiety occurs after a meal due to the feeling of fullness and satisfaction, which results in you not eating for a while. Satiation is when you stop eating after a meal due to the chemical signals from your stomach, more about you slowing down and stopping. When we are feeding our kids we aim for satiation and satiety, which is brought about through foods that are high in fiber and protein. Making small changes in the choices of foods included in lunch may be able to help in keeping your child fuller for a little longer.

Foods high in fiber:

  1. Wheat Bread
  2. Apples
  3. Kidney beans
  4. Lima Beans
  5. Artichokes

Foods with good protein:

  1. Turkey or Chicken breast
  2. Fish (Tuna and Salmon)
  3. Tofu
  4. Eggs
  5. Yogurt

Another option to consider is what you may be preparing for dinner may also be something to snack on before the big meal. For example, when preparing vegetable lasagna, you may have carrots, peas, and many other options on hand that are sliced and ready to go. To give a few of these food items to your child may be a good idea.  Curb their appetite with healthy choices you would include in a meal. Try out these ideas and you may notice a change in their after school hunger and they may even have more energy to help you when preparing dinner!

Written by Eden Araya

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