Kids Need to Snack…Well

Snacks aren’t the enemy of good nutrition. It’s the bad snacks. I actually let my kids take snack breaks during the day, especially while we are homeschooling. I find that this increases their engagement and allows them to recharge for the task at hand. As long as it isn’t something sweet or junky before a lunch or dinner, snacks are actually a great way to enhance my kids’ nutritional needs.

Yesterday, I handed them fruit and they devoured it. Okay, they weren’t too crazy about the guavas. Elijah said they smelled and tasted like sweat. Sweat?! I have no idea why. Since no one really wanted the guavas, I ate them instead. Yum.

My kids are learning to differentiate between healthy snacks and unhealthy ones. However, the conditioning of their palettes is largely dependent on what I serve to them and make available in the refrigerator and pantry.

As parents, we need to take control of the food that is served in our homes. Kids won’t naturally gravitate towards fruit and vegetables unless they have been trained to. Sometimes it surprises me that parents allow their kids to eat noodles without any pasta sauce, or friend chicken and rice everyday. Others avoid conflict with their kids by permitting them to skip on anything that looks green.

My kids aren’t perfect about their diets. They still have to improve. But I don’t let them get away with bad attitudes towards healthy foods. When Catalina doesn’t want to finish her vegetables, she has to sit in front of her plate and keep going, even if it takes her a long time…even if she spits out some of it or gags in disgust.

Little by little, she learns to eat vegetables not because they always taste as wonderful as everything else on her plate but because she knows she has to and it’s for her good. It’s the mind and the values that must control the eating, not the stomach.

The same goes for snacks. My kids used to prefer chips, candies, chocolates, and the like. Now they will actually munch on carrot sticks, slices of fruit, prunes, raisins, nuts, etc. Occasionally, we have chips, cookies, and chocolates, but not as part of their regular diets. (I am not a despot!)

They are also required to drink their Friso Four milk for added sustenance and nutrition, especially for my skinnier children.

The key is to be present when it’s eating time. When parents are around, the intentionality is there. When parents are around they can spot negative attitudes towards foods and correct them. When a meal is shared, kids learn from the examples set by parents. There’s a positive association and connection between the right food and family bonding and fellowship.

Let’s not give up on training our kids to be healthy eaters and snackers. It’s very possible with consistency, patience, and discipline!

“Research has shown that it takes 31 days of conscious effort to make or break a habit. That means, if one practices something consistently for 31 days, on the 32nd day it does become a habit. Information has been internalised into behavioural change, which is called transformation.” – Shiv Khera

16 thoughts on “Kids Need to Snack…Well

  1. Hi Joy. This is a nice reminder and I’m sure your intentions are good but I hope it’s okay for me to provide feedback? I was wondering if you could minimize commenting about other parents/couples life choices. Sometimes it comes across to us readers as judgmental and preachy… for example, “I’m surprised that parents let their kids eat fried chicken every day” — we don’t know why some parents do this. Maybe both mom and dad are working and are too tired to make a meal at the end of the day? I know my husband and I will occasionally do this if we’re dead tired from work, BUT we try to make up for it by planning our menus better and working out. We plan to encourage our children to do the same.

    Another example is when you mentioned in your previous article that you were again surprised that some couples spend so much on their wedding. I thought that it was wonderful that your dgroup was able to plan an event with such reasonable costs! It’s a timely reminder for young couples today. But was it necessary to comment about what other couples do? I know others who spend 1-2M pesos on their weddings but it wasn’t with the intention of showing off. They wanted their guests to have a good time and to splurge a little since it was a special day for them.

    Please don’t get me wrong — I’m not a hater of your blog. I actually like your blog and subscribe to your entries! I’ve been following it silently since 2011. It’s just that I’ve noticed that your entries have shifted from talking about your personal experience to commenting about what other parents do/should not do. Another example is about moms who work. Personally, back when I was single, I was so inspired by your earlier entries to homeschool and be a stay at home mom. Those were the days when you wrote candidly about how your day was, what you learned, etc. However, now that I am a mom, and our setup cannot allow a single income household, I do feel a tinge of guilt when I come across your entries and you write about how we shouldn’t be in jobs that take us away from our children. 🙁

    I hope you’re not offended by my sharing this, Joy. I really do enjoy reading your blog and I’ve learned so much from you and your family! I just wanted to share my thoughts. Thanks and God bless you 🙂

    1. Hi!
      I was thrilled to know that just like me you’re also one of the ‘silent’ readers of Joy’s blog who I believe have appreciated her openness (stories both ugly and beautiful), and been blessed by her life in any others ways. I just can’t help though but felt sad of how her latest entries made you feel. I don’t know Joy on a personal level, but through reading and re-reading (to internalize some points) her blog entries, I can’t find a single sign or indication that she wrote with a judgmental standpoint as you find it (at least recently). Please allow me to share how I perceive her latest entries.
      “I’m surprised that parents let their kids eat fried chicken every day” – As a mom who feeds my child (1.9yrs old) fried chicken (which she delights eating especially the drumstick, ) sometimes because she doesn’t like the food prepared for her, I wasn’t offended by Joy’s remark on this. Instead I was reminded that I should me mindful and be more intentional and disciplined as well in feeding my child only what is nutritious for her. I think the key word here is EVERYDAY. Because if we let our children eat that EVERYDAY, then we’re certainly not giving our child the right food that contains the right nutrients they need especially at the young age. We don’t want that right?
      “Another example is when you mentioned in your previous article that you were again surprised that some couples spend so much on their wedding… But was it necessary to comment about what other couples do?” Please note that prior her sharing of the weddings she witnessed that were more of SUBSTANCE, not EXTRAVAGANCE or broadcasting wealth, her first paragraph shared the reality that there are those who get into debt just to make “special impression on their wedding”. The “play now, pay later” mentality as she puts it. I find it true because it is the reality. And believe me, I have a friend whose about to marry next month, but my friend, the soon-to-be-groom told me how stressed and pressured he is because the cost they’re incurring now has already exceeded his original budget. Had I learned about this 6 years ago before my husband and I wed, I would have seriously consider and follow the tips Joy mentioned in her blog. And yes, I had that ‘play now, pay later’ mentality back then. I believe she’s not really judging people who do that. I think she’s leading us to check our hearts, to check our motives because knowing Joy (again though her blog alone), she’s really serious about honoring God in ALL aspects of her life including raising her children and her day to day life choices.
      God bless you 😊

      @Joy, you don’t know how tremendously you have impacted my life in a positive way through your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your life story to us.

      1. Thanks, Jen for your perspective. I appreciate it and I do acknowledge that Joy’s intentions are nothing but good and with the motive of glorifying God. I was only commenting on the way her entries are written sometimes. 🙂

    2. I understand where you are coming from. I thought I was the only one who felt this way, especially about the part re moms who work and noodles without pasta sauce. Sana refrain nalang from commenting on other people’s life choices. It really does sound condescending and judgmental.

      1. I agree. You know what some children prefer their spaghetti without sauce. Why judge the mom for that?

        Joy, I hope you could be more empathic towards others instead of being judgemental.

      2. That was not my intention. I didn’t name any particular persons and say they were making those choices. It’s just an observation that I have seen and it concerns me. But if it came across as condescending and judgmental please forgive me. If you have been reading my posts through the years you would know that I often share my own struggles and weaknesses. I don’t ever want it to seem like I am saying that I am better than other parents out there.

  2. My gulay, why are you so strict with these things? Did Jesus intentionally make your children look anorexic or something?!? And my gulay, why do they say that apples are bad?!? The Bible is messed up!!! Jesus messes things up!!!! Also, feed ‘em donuts!!! It’s more nutritious! Apple flavored!!! Follow Homer, and drink root beer also. Not goods created by Jesus!!! Simpson’s style!

      1. I believe there is no connection between the person you are assuming it is to mr. juancho right here. We all know mr. juancho here is one bombastic fellow who “clearly” has no idea of what he’s saying. I mean would you waste your time commenting on someone’s negative comment on one blog? Honestly young lady you’re wasting your time. If I were you, I’d rather do better things in life other than to wasting my time butting in.

        Mr. Juancho, you on the other hand have no objective and no point in commenting negatively in this blog. Aren’t you always this ignorant? It’s kinda obvious that the whole “atheist” thing is not working out. I have atheist friends who are nice and kind and they never bash Jesus but rather respect the opinions/beliefs of a Christian. If I were you Mr. Juancho, I’d respect others and at the same time get an education. Because education is something you lack.

  3. Hi there
    Just like you, you said that you don’t mean to offend, but your long comment publicly pointing out Joy and what you don’t like about her is actually offensive. Think for a moment and focus on what others feel and not just yours. She shared opinion in her own blog without dropping names, just a general comment, but you publicly humiliated her in her own space and we don’t even know who you are. It’s like dropping a bomb.
    Sometimes we don’t like being around people who make us feel guilty or show us our mistakes. But hey, you should consider it as a blessing because you gain awareness of your areas of improvement. If you’re humble enough to admit that she has a point and it’s hard on your part, don’t blame it on the person who has set a standard for you. Instead, depend on God to help you on your weakness instead of arguing. Allow Him to be your strength. That’s what Joy has been modeling to us–that all these things are difficult apart from the Lord.

    See how she continues to be a role model of good character to you by being gracious to you on your post.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I never said that I didn’t like Joy in what I wrote. Nowhere did I write that I was blaming her. Where did you get that? Was it the line where I said I feel guilty? If so, let me expound further: a line that says “working jobs that take us away from our children” can make a mother who works (either by choice or not) feel bad about her decision. But, it’s not Joy’s fault that we have to work. Again, was only providing feedback that her words could be perceived differently. I tried to do so by citing concrete examples as politely as I could. I do admire her and have defended her from friends who miscontrue and misunderstand her good intentions when she writes. (Btw, I’ve also posted comments defending her in the past.) Please do not be so quick to attack me for just expressing what I feel. Afterall, I thought that’s what the comments section allowed and aptly labeled… “Thoughts about …. (insert title of post here)…”


      If you were offended by what I wrote, I sincerely apologize. Feel free to delete my comments as this is your space after all. I will refrain from speaking up as I can see it upsets some of your fans.

    2. Thank you. Well, there’s always room to improve. Thanks for understanding that I don’t mean to offend, at the same time, it’s good to be held accountable for my words and the way they come across. I really am a work in progress, too. And my prayer is that this blog will bless people and minister to their hearts. And should God cause it to convict others that He will be the one to speak to them.

  4. @2:39

    I believe you. I have never gotten an inkling that you were spiting Joy at all. In fact, you were very careful with your words. You have my respect for getting your message across while still trying to be cautious and respectful.

  5. I believe you also. I liked how you expressed yourself and your thoughts while being polite and respectful. You were only pointing out another perception which could be a reminder for Joy. Sometimes people have blindspots and as long as we are respectful, we are always free to bring it to someone’s attention.

    “Wounds from a friend can be trusted than an enemy who multiplies kisses.”

    1. Yes that’s true, we can all have blind spots. I have those. I can always improve thanks for the remindern

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