Everyday after school, I can tell when Cole and Finn are home when the door slams. Then I’ll hear the clomp, clomp of kid feet walking their way over to where I am. And then I hear not a greeting, but a request. “What can I have to eat?”
This has been my life for the past five years and it’s showing no signs of slowing or stopping. So when parents lament to us, “What can I feed my children?! They’re always hungry!” I sympathize. It always seems like I’m only a half step ahead of their bellies and that’s not a fun race! So for this Tutorial, I thought I might share some ways that I stave off their demons!
Children have insatiable appetites it seems. Of course, that makes sense considering that they are constantly growing. In fact, I’m pretty sure Wesley has grown an inch a month over the past year, so his constant desire for bananas makes sense. But how do I feed these boys with out running out of food? Well, the key is to satiate their bodies as efficiently as possible.
On a standard diet, crackers or other carby grain foods are the standard practice of most parents. Crackers and the like are suitable for a burst of energy, but don’t contain many nutrients. They are a cheap way to fill a belly without a lot of though behind them. I call them “just shut up” foods. I think it’s important to move away from those kinds of snacks so that mindless eating doesn’t become a habit.
But I feel that with a little bit of planning and thoughtfulness you can keep your kids satisfied with whole foods!
- Do not skip breakfast and make sure that lunch is large enough and well planned enough to keep them satisfied!
- We pack lunches in a four part system: Meat, Vegetable, Fat, Fruit. This will make a complete lunch that will keep them full. See Paleo To Go for more details
- For breakfast, eggs are great! But for a change, we like coconut milk yoghurt with grain-free granola or soup, especially egg drop soup.
- There will be days where you’ll realize that you’ve allowed your toddler to consume 4 bananas. That is okay! Your child will survive a day of excess banana consumption!
- Be sure to check your children’s lunches if they pack their own. I’ve caught some outrageous selections in my time!
- Don’t wait too late for dinner! It’s not the snack at 4 PM that becomes a problem. It’s when there’s no dinner in sight by 5:30 or 6 that they start acting up and trying for extra carbs.
- Fats are the key to long term satisfaction. Try coconut, nuts, seeds, or meats as snacks instead of fruits or crackers.
We have lots of satiating snacks on the blog that we recommend for you to have on hand!
There are many more in Eat Like a Dinosaur, Paleo to Go and Real Life Paleo.
We also keep some amount of prebought food that is ready to meet the hunger demon!
- Wholly Guacamole with Plantain Chips or Baby Carrots
- Apples or Bananas with Sunflower Seed Butter
- Paleo Kits from Steve’s Original
- Epic Bars
- Exo Bars
- Coconut Milk Yogurt
- Microwaved hot dogs or bacon
- Cage-free hard boiled eggs can be found at Trader Joe’s
- Trail Mixes and Nuts (our boys like to pick their own from One Stop Paleo Shop)
- Jackson’s Honest Chips with lunch meat
The boys all list their favorite snacks in their Favorites posts here: Cole (9yo), Finian (6yo), and Wes (4yo).
All these ideas have the same plan: Give them some carbohydrates to satisfy them immediately, then throw in some fat to keep them satisfied for longer – but the rule in our house is, “where’s the protein”, the boys know what that means!