Wait, are you really?
Try this: pick a food for the family that’s healthy and good in it’s own right like a pear or an apple.
When someone is hungry, do a gut check: are you hungry enough to eat an apple?
If the answer is yes, and it’s midway between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, have the apple (or pear or carrots).
If the answer is no, you’re not that hungry, have a list of things to do instead. When the hungry feeling comes, distraction and redirection can make it goes away. Not every sensation of hunger needs to be obeyed. Children will not perish. Healthy kids can even practice this.
One definition of a snack is a food that has no added sugar, less than 500 milligrams of sodium and less than 100 calories. That’s basically fruits and vegetables. 100 calorie packets of processed crackers, chips or bars are gone in an instant without being filling.
Foods without a lot of calories—an apple has 95—that take time to eat make excellent snacks.
Read more about how to think about food and behavior in The Beck Diet Solution.
About Lisa M. Asta, MD
Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta.
For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
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