Look around you. In our American lifestyle, isn't it obvious that we love to SNACK! Whether you look to the grocery store, the food stands in the mall, or even the cheap $1 menus at fast food restaurants. We are taught, trained to snack throughout our life.
I would even dare to say that having just 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is abnormal in the American Lifestyle.
So is snacking really helpful for us? It seems that as soon as our brain is even slightly triggered to be hungry, then we stuff our mouths with a snack. Whether it's healthy or not, is it okay? Should we actually let our body feel hungry for a while before eating? Maybe practice a little self-control, and just drink some water instead. (Not drink high calorie drinks that are basically a snack in themselves).
So where does this idea of having to snack come from? Why don't we allow our bodies to get hungry?
If you are a parent, or have been around parents, you might already know the answer to this. Not only does our culture train us to snack while we shop, drive around town, or go to work, but I believe it starts even earlier than that. I believe we are taught as children to snack!
So I pose the question:
Now let me preface. I pose this question as a conversation starter. Not as an expert on the subject, just as a mom whose goal is to LEAVE A HEALTHY & ACTIVE LIFESTYLE LEGACY FOR MY CHILDREN. As a mom I have an opinion, and I would love to hear what you think!
So, with that said, early in with my son I made the choice to not give him snacks a lot. In my head I realized, I wanted to feed him good, hearty meals, so that he didn't need to snack. More than that, I didn't want to use a snack as something to occupy him, the idea is similar to not letting him watch a movie on my phone just to keep him quiet (that's another topic in itself), but you get the idea.
I made this choice because I want him to have a healthy relationship with food. I want food to be something he uses for FUEL for his body! I don't want it to be something he does out of boredom, or feels like every time we go somewhere we he has to have a snack. I can see some of those bad habits in myself, and I didn't want to start him off that way. I may not blast this idea to everyone, but I try not to give in to the pressure of snacking. Even when I'm around a lot of moms, and they are feeding their kids snacks, or Zander is fussy and they offer a snack. If I know he has had a full meal prior, I politely decline. Now, if I feel like his meal wasn't sufficient, obviously I will give him a snack, but I try to use it for feeding his hunger, not his fussiness.
You probably can relate or know what I am talking about. You may even realize you have been guilty of doing this. You know, you are chatting with friends and not ready to leave, but your baby is fussing, or getting into things, so you distract them with a snack. Whatever the case may be, it's easy to do this. Because lets face it, when they are snacking, they are occupied, and you can do what you want.
BUT...are we teaching them bad habits from the start?
Are we teaching them to always fill their time and space with food?
Are we teaching them to eat, even when they are not hungry?
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! WHAT DO YOU THINK?
ARE WE SNACKING OUR KIDS TO AN UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
[bctt tweet="Let's admit it...we are snackers! But, Are we snacking our kids to an unhealthy lifestyle? by @brittanysuell #mommymonday #leaveyourlegacy" via="no"]
Recently I read an article from the Chicago Tribune that discussed this same issue, which really got my mind to thinking about it. You can read that post HERE.