Healthy, quick Snacks–Chase the Grumpies away!

The blood sugar has dropped, the mood pendulum is rapidly swinging, the cravings set in, as does the temper.  This is a common occurrence for many people, especially our children as they are released from the classroom – or we are released for a 10 minute afternoon break from the doldrums of our work lives.

Quick snacks on the go Healthy Grease Monkey

Providing our kids, or ourselves, with prepackaged snacks may SEEM like a great idea, but when we get down to it we are setting them up for a serious drop in blood sugar and a case of the grumpies.

Although rice crispy treats may be their favorite, (and a weakness of my hubby) the sugar content is detrimental to their health, their immune system, and their moods.  How do we satisfy the hunger, the need for nutrition and a kid’s sweet tooth?  A tasty, natural alternative paired with some protein!

It needs to be quick as time is of the essence, so here are some ideas to have ready at the office or to haul along when waiting in parent pick-up lines – not just for the kids, but for Mom & Dad too!

  1. Peanut butter and apple slices
  2. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese & pine apple chunks &/or strawberries (really, any sweet fruit will work)
  3. Fruit smoothee with protein powder. (I keep over ripe bananas in the freezer to use in these, awesome nutrition for myself and my daughter
  4. Protein bites (one of our favorites and super simple to make)
  5. Protein bars – you can alter your optional ingredients here to keep things mixed up a bit
  6. Fruit Pizza – you can do this with Peanut butter in place of the creamy base as well.
  7. Chopped, leftover grilled chicken with chips and pico de gallo 
  8. Apple Fiber Bars (for when its been a truly hectic week, I keep these on hand)
  9. Humus as dip for carrots & celery, or a few pretzels
  10. Whole grain crackers with natural peanut butter & preserves

HealthyGreaseMonkey snackFeel Good Fast Protein Bites

Here are a couple of links with other ideas. Protein is an important component of this afternoon snack.  I will explain more, later in the week. 

http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/830799/22-healthy-high-protein-snacks

http://www.aupaircare.net/blog/5-high-protein-snack-ideas-for-kids/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/419514-protein-complex-carb-snacks/

For more information about healthy alternatives, protein powder sources, or to sign up for this month’s cooking prep class, contact me!

Avoid the Afternoon GRUMPIES

School opens next week… Schedules become more routine with homework, sports, after-school programs, quality time, bed time, dinner time…  (the list goes on and on as the days get shorter)

As parents, our time is valuable, we want to spend HAPPY time with our kids, especially when that time is limited. 

THIS is where a little preparation and even a little planning can make a BIG difference, healthy snack choices can GREATLY improve our own mood and the moods of our children!

I know that my child needs an immediate snack of substance as soon as I pick her up from school. She’s just like me.  Not that she begs for one, but her blood sugar, at this point, has dropped to “the grumpies” and she is argumentative, weepy, whiny, and generally disagreeable UNTIL I can get that blood sugar elevated a bit and SUSTAINED.

Let me explain a bit with an excerpt from “Why Do I Feel This Way?” by Gaber & Day:

Though most of the body can use stored fat for energy, the brain only “runs” on glucose. It, therefore, needs a constant supply.  Without it, symptoms such as dizziness, faintness, moodiness, irritability, weakness, fuzzy thinking, etc. may result. The brain will then put out signals of hunger, or cravings for glucose containing foods to alleviate a potential crisis.

What this means for our kids and OURSELVES, is that we need to pay attention to what we are eating throughout the day, and provide a healthy, sound snack option to offset this issue.

Imagine: Your kids come home, are better able to focus on completing their homework, they are less argumentative and even a bit less whiny.  hmmmm

This month I will be offering ideas to combat the AFTERNOON GRUMPIES.

Today, I will tell you, think protein and fresh fruit…  An example:

Filling_Pair_PB_Apple_Healthy_Grease_Monkey

Enjoy!  May the traffic, the change in routines, and the force be with you!

For more information or to find out about local cooking preparation classes contact me.