Anyone have a hungry, hungry “hippo” child?!
This is what I jokingly and lovingly refer to as kids that are hungry all the time! What many parents don’t realize is that most of what their children are eating is sugar – cereal, bread, crackers, pasta, cookies, milk, and even sugar – and this contributes to them being hungry all the time! Most people think of sugar as treats and snacks we eat after meals or to meet our sweet tooth. However, sugar does occur naturally in fruits, some vegetables and other foods. And, many of the foods we consume contain “added” sugars. Without the protein and fat there is nothing to keep us full, which is why 30 minutes after having some chips your child might be pulling at your leg for more!
- Sugar is actually the only taste we are born with, so we will always naturally crave it.
- Sugar filled foods actually do not keep us full, instead they make us hungrier more often. Constantly eating foods high in added sugar can promote eating more than what you really need, since you are not providing your body with any substantial fuel.
- Calories from sugary beverages often get stored as fat in our bodies.
- Natural sugar is best paired with fat or protein, in order to keep people fuller longer.
– Eat Slightly Less: bananas, mangos, cherries, grapes, pomegranate, tangerines/oranges, pineapple
– Eat Mostly: avocados, lemons/limes,strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, apples and apricots.
– Eat Slightly Less: potatoes, yams, peas, and corn.
– Eat Mostly: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes are all considered non-starchy vegetables.
– All have Sugar: The trick with grains is to eat them in moderation because they all have sugar in them. Remember that breads, cereals, tortillas, crackers, rice, pasta, chips, quinoa, oats and barely break down to sugar. Often, grains are a more white, tan or brown color, so if you have multiple items for each meal, watch the colors on your plate.
– Eat Less: candies, gummy bears, fruit snacks (fruit Roll-Up, Fruit by the Foot, etc.), puddings, jell-o’s, cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, sugary cereals (Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, etc.), Pop-Tarts, and chips/Cheetos.
– Eat More: Greek yogurt, ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, raisins), string cheese, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, hummus with crackers, veggies with cream cheese, nut butters with fruit, and carrots with ranch dip.
– High Sugar: Gatorade/Powerade, fruit juices, sodas (diet and regular), Vitamin water, juice boxes (High-C, Capri Sun), Naked Juices, milk.
– Less Sugar: water, fruit infused waters (by adding berries, lemon, limes, cucumber, mint, etc.), teas without added sweeteners, black coffee.
Try giving your kids snacks that have more “bang for your buck,” in other words, more nutrients. Instead of a piece of fruit, crackers, muffin, or tortilla, try adding protein and healthy fat such as with this Owl Rice Cake snack! All you need is: rice cakes, nut butter, some fruit. Decorate away!