Simone from Play With Food was my first online friend who became an In-Real-Life Friend.
The friendship was cemented by surviving Yum Cha with 4 kids under 4 upon our first meeting.
I love Simone’s passion for what she does. Her aim is “to delight the imagination and taste buds of kids with food!” Simone specialises in fussy eaters and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to ending meal battles and creating happier family mealtimes. I’m forever drawing on what she has taught me when I sit down for meals with my smalls. Simone is sharing some Afternoon Snack Hacks to help busy parents get through to dinnertime with happy kiddies.
Simone, thanks so much for guest posting and helping me out as I transition from Maternity Leave to rejoining the workforce. (I managed to forget my lunch on the first day. #fail.)
Over to Simone.
I absolutely loved sharing #creativeplaywithfood month in March with Shannon and am delighted she wants me here to chat about some afternoon snack hacks.
Kids can be ravenous after their daily activities and afternoon tea is the perfect time to embrace their hunger, excitement and curiosity (before the witching hour grumbles set-in). I am pretty sure that the 4-5pm witching hour grumbles happen universally and it’s not just a newborn/toddler thing, it’s just that adults don’t cry (as often). A balanced afternoon tea a few hours before dinner can really alleviate the dip in blood sugars that can exacerbate these witching hour dramas.
As a mum and a feeding specialist, this is a period of the day that I think is super important to consider as a golden mealtime opportunity. Here are just a few of my ideas to make afternoon tea a touch easier for you.
- Think about how many food groups you can fit into afternoon tea. If you only challenge yourself (and your kids) on this at one mealtime per day – make it afternoon tea! Let’s see if you can come up with something to eat that includes each of the 5 food groups. For example, banana on toast is 2 food groups (fruit and gains). By adding a dollop of yoghurt and some flaked almonds makes this humble snack now includes 4 food groups. Or make it into a “melt” by adding some avocado (vegetable), shredded chicken (meat / meat alternatives) and cheese (dairy) to make it 5 food groups.
- Include some noisy sensory play at the same time. For example, using some frozen peas in a container as a maraca can be a fun investigation to see how quiet it gets until they are all eaten / defrosted.
- Don’t worry if it’s not at the dinner table. Try having afternoon tea at the park, outside or even on a “magical flying carpet” (aka – beach towel) in the hallway. Kids can even enjoy a messy frozen smoothie ice block in the bathtub.
- Make it colourful! The more colours and foods we eat – the better. Maybe ask the kids while you are shopping to see if they can find some colourful foods to try. hint: there are more colours in the fruit and veg section than the other areas 😉
- Try some food art. It’s craft and afternoon tea at the same time. Two birds, One stone. Food art doesn’t have to be complicated, yet, it can inspire some great conversation and investigation. Fussy (or picky) eaters thrive on this non-pressured interaction with foods. Throw together some preferred foods, tolerated foods and new foods on a platter and see what “art” the kids can make – my motto is to Keep It Simple!
Just to be transparent, I am a Play with Food affiliate. This means that if you click over to Simone’s site and purchase one of her eBooks or eCourses, then I receive a small commission. However, I 100% endorse what Simone stands for and teaches. Many of the tips and techniques that we use for happy mealtimes at our place have been taught to me by Simone. She is one super clever lady!
Images by: Simone, Play with Food