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Marsh column: When kids raid fridge

By Ester Marsh
For the Salisbury Post
Q. My kids have only been out of school for a couple of days and they already have eaten me out of house and home. What can I buy that satisfies them and not ruin my budget?
A. You must have teenagers! Thank God for school lunch. Unfortunately, we don’t have it in summer.(Our J.F. Hurley Family YMCA daycare program gets free breakfast and lunch from the Rowan-Salisbury Schools food service óTHANK YOU! This service is available for any camp that qualifies for that and we pass that free service to our campers.)
But your child is not in our camp and is raiding your fridge every minute! You want your child to have healthy snacks and lunches, but sometimes it seems the healthier they eat, the more they consume.
First of all, when you go shopping don’t take them with you! They will fill your cart up with snacks and lunch items they love ó which means they will eat double what they would normally eat. My kids are so smart they pick wholesome items with pretty decent nutritional values, items they convince me they need, but when the stuff gets home it seems to disappear in a very short time.
Keep the items they LOVE for when you are around and are able to control portions or their numerous trips to the fridge/pantry.
Try to keep the fiber content high in snacks and lunch items. When a product is high in fiber, your children will be satisfied longer because their bodies will absorb the product more slowly. Also satisfying are milk products like cheese, milk and yogurt. Again, mypyramid.gov is an excellent Web site with tons of great information. The site recommends that children between 2 and 8 years of age get 2 cups of milk products a day; children 9-18 years of age need 3 cups. Fruits and vegetables are wonderful snacks, too, and have barely any calories ó but watch the add-ons like dips and dressings.
And you know what? When kids (and adults) are bored, they eat more! Remember last week’s column?
Plan their activities but also plan their snacks. This way, you can control the intake and stay within your budget.
Gotta go … I’m hungry!
Contact Ester Marsh at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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