When you have kids you know one of the biggest challenges is keeping them fed! As they grow it seems like keeping them fed is a full-time job! Here are some quick and easy tips for keeping hungry kids full!!
There are several phrases that get repeated over and over in my house on a daily basis…
“What is there to eat?”
“Can I have some food?”
“When is dinner going to be ready?”
Seriously, if I had a dollar for each time I got asked about food on a given day I would be a very very rich woman.
I know teen boys are notorious for being bottomless pits so it should be no surprise that with a 20, 16, and 10 year old we go through a ton of food. During seasons where they are swimming, or working out a lot that amount is even more!
I realized a long time ago that I needed a plan to help keep these crazy boys fed so that “I’m staaarrrrvvviiiingggg” could be met with some food at the ready!
- Meal Plan- A huge step in keeping endlessly hungry kids fed is by having a plan! I use a very simple system that helps me know what’s for dinner, and what I’m buying for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. I try to pre-plan leftovers so that there is extra for lunch or just a big afternoon snack the next day!
- Keep Quality Snacks on Hand- Here’s the thing with most kids, left to their own devices they’ll fill up on snacks. I know with my oldest and youngest if it doesn’t jump out of the fridge into their mouth there is nothing to eat! (My middle one will cook a full meal so I don’t worry about him!) So rather than having things like cookies, chips etc. I try to keep high protein snacks, veggies, fruit and other nutrient-rich easy to grab food on hand!
- Prep Ahead of Time- When I’m really on the ball I’ll start out the week with what my boys call a “cooking outrage” this includes making things like breakfast burritos, muffins, homemade hot pockets, kale chips, roasted garbanzo beans, pre-chopping veggies & fruit… basically stocking the kitchen with good food to last the week (or a few days depending on how hungry they are!) This way there is plenty to eat and grabbing it is simple and easy!
- Let Them Help- Getting your kids involved in all the aspects of meals is a great way to help them stay full! First, let them help you plan and shop. They can pick out things that sound good, that they want to eat, and will keep them full! My younger boys like to cook so I like to let them pick things that they’ll cook for themselves, and with my oldest, I like to get his input on what he’d like to take to work, and have after he hits the gym!
- Make it Obvious– Years ago I got tired of them standing with the fridge door open, asking what there was to eat, and acting like something might magically appear if they stood there long enough. So I started making a list and posting it on the fridge. This “What is there to eat” list contains breakfast, lunch, snacks and treats. I would write them down right after I went grocery shopping and then cross things out as they ate them all. It works really well so that at a glance not only do they know what there is to eat, but I also know what has been finished.
I created a printable one, that you can print weekly or slip into a clear plastic sleeve, or laminate and reuse! I find that a wet erase marker works best to write on it & then easily clear off for the next week!
You can get yours here-
Here’s what I use for mine-
With a little planning, it’s easier to keep kids full and happy! I can’t guarantee that you won’t still hear “I’m hungry” throughout the day, but it might be just a little bit less!