The snack: a real meal!

And here we have the school year started with its own rhythm (sleep not too late to get a good night’s sleep, get up early to enjoy a good breakfast and arrive at school on time, punctuality at the end of the day for extracurricular activities,…) and its own particular tasks (preparing the schoolbag, filling in and signing all the documents, providing money for meals at school, preparing the picnic,…).

With the start of the school year, we are returning to good habits, as much as it is in terms of nutrition for our children, whether they are in kindergarten or primary school.

With four meals, the child goes around the day.

The breakfast

It is used to recharge its batteries to keep in shape all morning. It helps to maintain concentration and prevents snacking during the morning.

A strong breakfast includes a dairy product, bread or cereals, as well as fruit and a drink.

The ideal is to eat it all at home.

Morning snack

With a full breakfast, water is sufficient during the morning. Snacking is useless.

However, if breakfast is incomplete, it will be composed of the missing food families. These are usually bread (or cereals) and fruit. Ideally, this breakfast supplement is taken in the early morning and results in the elimination of the snack served in the middle or late morning. The latter is often too close to dinner or poorly adapted to the needs.

The snack

After school or after a busy afternoon of activities, children need to breathe, relax and feel full. The snack, taken as a family or when we meet, with friends, all together around the table to discuss and share, is the perfect moment of transition. The children take the time to talk to each other, to tell their day, to build relationships.

The snack is a real meal, it contributes to the dietary balance of the day. The time between lunch and dinner is too long for the child, his energy must be renewed. The snack provides the child with the necessary energy for his or her end-of-day activities. He avoids snacking before dinner.

We are often looking for good ideas, variety, balance and pleasure, to renew the composition of the snack. Let us keep in mind that a food is rarely appreciated right away, many tests are sometimes necessary. The “usual” food is more often appreciated than the “exceptional” food. Let us not give in too quickly, young age is an essential time to give children a taste for a varied and therefore balanced diet.

Gustatory perception is directly related to our sensory sensitivity. It is therefore not surprising to see a child refuse to eat a food that seems unknown to him/her when he/she has already eaten it before. This is a normal phase of evolution, which each child experiences to varying degrees. So let us not hesitate to offer food even after a disappointing first attempt. Children learn by imitation, they are particularly sensitive to the example of others and others.

Let us not forget either that appetite varies from one child to another and from one moment to another. The obligation to “finish everything” does not allow the child to be receptive to his physiological signals of satiety.

Trust your child and let him or her manage the amount of food consumed by allowing him or her, for example, to serve himself or herself.

However, it is obvious that the choice of food, the time and place of meals is the responsibility of the adult.

A full snack prevents your child from being hungry for dinner. A heavy supper reduces the quality of sleep and appetite for breakfast.

Avoid chocolate bars, biscuits, pastries,…, sodas, milk and flavoured or sweetened waters, fruit juices,… These foods are to be limited because they increase the risk of cavities, excess weight and the attraction to sugar.

It’s time to indulge yourself and present waffles, pancakes, not to mention fruit or fruit salad and the traditional but delicious toast!

A balanced snack is made up of starchy foods, fruits (or vegetables) and dairy products.

Here are some suggestions for balanced snacks for fall and winter:

  • A compote – a buttered slice of bread – a slice of cheese – water
  • Cinnamon oatmeal – milk – dried fruit (apricots, grapes,…) – water
  • A banana snack – a glass of milk – a square of chocolate – water
  • A sesame bun filled with goat cheese, herbs from Provence and honey – water
  • Gingerbread – orange segments with cinnamon – a glass of milk – water at will
  • Chocolate pear wrap – one glass of milk – unlimited water
  • Plum/banana milkshake – buttered cracker – water