Mindful Snacking

At Fusion Taekwondo, we care about your family’s health, and we know that you do to! Besides the five basic Taekwondo tenets we discuss regularly in class, we also want to offer you helpful information about health issues and concerns. Twice a month, we will post health-related information on our blog under the Health header. We hope you find this helpful.
In our busy lives, we can find ourselves running between activities or meetings looking for a quick snack or a vending machine to tide over our hunger. For most adults, the craving happens a few hours after lunch. For kids, it is probably the after-school snack.  Adults can plan ahead of time what to have on hand. But kids need more help in preparing for healthy snacks. As a family, you can choose and prepare your snacks together. Not only can you teach your children about healthy foods and nutrition, but you spend quality time together. Here are some ideas.
Plan for your snacks together. Ask your child to participate in the grocery list making, or shopping, where you can discuss options. Talk to him or her about choosing whole grains, fruits and vegetables as snacks over foods high in sugars and fat. And look at Nutrition Labels Cook the snacks together so they know what healthy ingredients are used.
Make the snacks accessible. It’s far easier to have carrot sticks cut up ahead of time to snack on the spot, than to have to get out the utensils and cut them up when you are hungry. Or, make a batch of whole wheat banana muffins and freeze them to be eaten later. This can also be done together with your child so he or she knows what is available in the house. Also, have the healthy snacks visible and eat to get, so it’s an easier option to choose, right out on the counter if necessary. (Check out the Maple Vanilla Granola recipe below!)

Once you can manage WHAT you and your family eats, you can begin to work on managing how much. Try these ideas with snacking.

Control portion size. Help your family get into the habit of selecting one portion size to put on a plate, then put the snack away, before eating. You are far more likely to overeat if you eat directly from the bag.
Drink water after a snack. There are several benefits of water. Foremost, it is important to hydrate the body. But it’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth after snacking. How many times have you finished a snack, but then the flavor is still in your mouth and you end up craving more? A glass of water helps remove the lingering sugars and flavors from the mouth, and help your belly fill full.

“Smart Snacking” (for kids)
“The Art of Power Snacking” (for adults)

“24 Healthy Snacks in your Supermarket”

Maple Vanilla Granola
10 C. rolled oats
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. dark amber maple syrup
3/4 C. honey
1 C. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional: 1 C. of any seeds (sunflower, flax, etc.) and/ or finely chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans) to your taste.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large baking pans with aluminum foil (I use one 15×9-inch cake pan). Combine the oats, cinnamon, and any optional seeds and/or nuts a very large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20-30 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, store in an airtight container.

Do you have other healthy snacking ideas? Comment below!

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