Does your child often say they’re feeling hungry? Does this happen after a meal or snack? You don’t want your child to feel hungry yet you’ve given a good amount of food at the last meal and you’re concerned about her weight.
Do you give more food? Do you say no, you’ve had enough? This happens daily and you don’t know what to do. You don’t want to create an emotional issue or a feeling of deprivation.
Maybe you’ve been told to give a smaller portion at meal time, so that if she asks for more, you can give another small portion.
The truth is it’s not about saying no or giving a smaller portion. It’s also not about talking to your child about your concern.
It is about looking looking at what you are serving and rebalancing meals and snacks.
Here’s what I mean…
Let’s start with breakfast. Is the breakfast you serve more carbohydrate focused, like a bowl of cereal, bagel, pancakes or waffles? While these are typical breakfasts, what is missing are protein and healthy fats. Protein helps steady blood sugars, keeping your child satisfied longer. Healthy fats help to feel satisfied longer. Start the day with protein to set your child up for less cravings and feelings of hunger.
Here’s an example of a balanced breakfast: 2 eggs + 1 slice avocado toast.
The same goes for lunch and dinner. Rather than giving a bowl of pasta, try giving 1/4 plate pasta + 1/4 plate protein + small amount healthy fat (drizzle of olive oil) + fruits and vegetables.
For snacks, try a balance of a protein or a fat with a carbohydrate. It’s easy to give multiple carbohydrates, like fruit and chips or crackers. Instead try fruit + nuts or cheese or edamame, which will keep your child satisfied longer.
A client recently expressed concern about their child’s weight gain. Their daughter was often hungry and asked for food in between meals and snacks. After shifting the balance of meals by adding more protein and healthy fats, her cravings diminished, portions decreased and she no longer complained of hunger.
If you found these tips helpful and need expert guidance to help your child or teen lose weight, watch a free parent training video created just for you at balancemyplate.com.
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