The Snackbox Technique - Enjoying healthy snacks without grazing all day
We all know how useful snacks are for keeping kids happy, but get into the habit of too many snacks and you'll have mealtime battles on your hands. Here's how to guard against your child grazing all day long
If you let your child snack throughout the day you’re setting yourself up for mealtime mayhem when they refuse to eat a proper dinner. And it doesn’t take a nutritionist to tell you that kids cannot live on snacks alone.
Some families use snacks as a way of distracting their children so they can focus on other things, from work to a bit of quiet time alone. But this can end up as a vicious circle: constant snacking puts kids off their main meals, and the fact they haven’t eaten properly means they're whining for more snacks an hour later.
The Supernanny snackbox technique helps find the middle ground by offering a limited choice of nutritional snacks throughout the day. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Boxing match
Get your child to decorate an empty box (it can be an old shoe box or a plastic storage box) any way they like – use paint, glitter glue, paper and fabric scraps etc for them to get creative.
Step 2: Snack selection
Involve your child in choosing a selection of snacks. Keep the snacks healthy - your child will enjoy the reward ritual of the snackbox as much as the snacks themselves, so they don't need to be full of sugar. Put a selection of two or three snacks (or more, depending on how filling they are and how old your child is) in the box, and give your child control over when he eats them.
Step 3: Snack attack strategy
Use the snackbox throughout the day and allow your child to choose when to take something out, except during the hour before mealtimes. Each time your child chooses a snack make it clear that once they’re all gone he won’t get any more – eventually he’ll learn to pace himself.
Step 4: Stand firm
Once the snacks are gone for the day, don’t replace them. Refill the box together the next day.
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