Snack time can be a child’s favorite part of the day. When parents use snacking as a way to expand kids’ food choices, everyone can enjoy more food choices.
What does snack time look like in your house? For many families, the daily snack ritual can sometimes be redundant. That same bowl of crunchy snacks, maybe a gummy treat or even something a little sweet can get boring. When a parent can combine a favorite food with something adventurous, kids’ food choices can be broaden.
In a recent survey by Stonyfield Organic, the brand found that both parents and kids say “snack time is the easiest food occasion to agree upon.” Given that kids have 2-3 snacks a day, snacking offers the perfect opportunity explore food, flavors and choices.
Truthfully, kids are willing and wanting to explore healthy and tasty options. When given the choice, kids are happy to choose a “healthy” snack over the less healthy alternative. Sometimes kids (and parents) need is a push in the better direction.
One of the keys to getting kids into a new routine is to give them the power of choice. Recently, Stonyfield Organic partnered with Vanessa Lachey to talk about kids and snacking choices. As a mom of three young children, Lachey understands the importance of getting kids to eat a variety of foods.
– Los Angeles, CA – 03/10/2019 – Actress and busy mom of three Vanessa Lachey teamed up with Stonyfield Organic yogurt to achieve a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the most bagged lunches assembled by an individual in three minutes. Lachey said she and her kids are huge fans of Stonyfield Organic Snack Packs because they are delicious, nutritious and perfectly convenient for on-the-go families.
-PICTURED: Vanessa Lachey, -PHOTO by: Michael Simon, photo provided by Stonyfield Organics
For Lachey, she has found that giving her kids control over their food choices can be the start of the food conversation. She said that lets her kids pick three things that they agree on. “It’s amazing for starting a discussion about what helps fuel our bodies and is a good choice.” Additionally, she said, it is “an opportunity to talk to them about making healthy choice, balancing treats with goodness and listening to their bodies to know then they are hungry.”
While this ideas are paramount, it is important to always encourage new foods and to never give up. One day a kid might love one food and the next week hate that exact same food.
At the same time, the same food can get boring. Finding variety, encouraging creativity and providing choices can be the strong foundation to making good snack choices.
As a busy parent myself, starting the food conversation can be the best first step. Kids are intelligent, perceptive and knowledgeable. Even though kids’ tastes might be different than adults, they are willing to experiment with flavors and combinations. Parents need to cultivate those choices.
For example, an easy way to encourage new food choices is to start with something familiar. If a kid loves Stonyfield Organic Strawberry Lowfat Yogurt and Graham Crackers, why not add a few pieces of fresh fruit into the snack pack. Start with fresh strawberries one week and maybe try a new, exotic fruit (like dragon fruit) another time. Taking something familiar and building on it can work in everyone’s favor.
Plus, at snack time the portions are smaller. Kids don’t feel overwhelmed with an enormous amount of a new food. By starting small, it is just a taste.
Afterwards, start a conversation about the new food. What was good, bad or different about that food? It can help direct future new foods choices with those simple questions. Why give a kid a super tart food if he didn’t like tart flavors? There doesn’t need to be struggle.
Is your family ready to expand kids’ food choices? Snack time can be the perfect opportunity to start that food conversation.