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How to keep kids productive instead of snacking while staying at home

Posted at 8:31 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:29:41-04

CLEVELAND — With school on hold for the foreseeable future, kids at home may have some added temptations, and one of them is the snack drawer. Even though things right now are about as abnormal as they could be, experts recommend trying to stick to a routine to help things seem as normal as possible.

Kelley Vlosich is a mother of five, with a full house now that school is on hold. And like most parents, she is faced with the challenge of feeding kids during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Balance I guess is just trying to make sure they’re getting the good stuff,” Vlosich said.

Health experts say the most important— and most difficult— is setting a schedule.

“Kids usually really do well with a schedule,” said Jennifer Hyland, registered dietician. “Especially the younger kids. With so much uncertainty right now, having a little bit of an expectation of what’s going to happen throughout the day. can be really helpful.”

As far as what to offer up— it’s best to pair of a protein with a fiber. Something like an apple and peanut butter. But parents— be prepared to compromise, too.

“My oldest— he won’t eat fruits and vegetables but he Likes a smoothie. I know he’s not going to sit and eat a bowl of strawberries. Just kind of “Hey, before you eat anything else you’ve got to make yourself a smoothie," said Vlosich.

Since snacking and scrolling tend to go hand-in-hand. It’s best to separate food and screen time.

“Try and as best you can to have food take place in the kitchen or the dining room and then screen time is going to be separated from that,” said Hyland.

And make it fun. Incorporate a water challenge among the kids to give them an incentive to drink more.

“Staying hydrated is going to help you feel good physically, stay well,” said Hyland. “And it’s also going to potentially keep you from feeling as hungry. A lot of times if we’re dehydrated we feel hungry and our body is actually thirsty.

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