As a general rule, children need to eat 3 meals and 1 to 3 snacks a day. As pediatric nutritionist Cosette Gergès explains, “Snacks help calm hunger until the next meal, but also supplement the child’s nutritional needs and feed his/her brain so that he/she meets their full potential at school”
The snack is therefore just as important for the child’s growth and development as balanced meals. Indeed, young children have a small stomach that cannot absorb all the nutrients they need from their three meals, making snacks an essential complement; for older children, snacks help to keep a stable energy and motivation level throughout the day.
There is nothing more beautiful than the gift of life… but a pregnancy also requires great diligence when it comes to eating right. Pregnant women are advised to take 2 to 3 snacks a day to avoid energy loss. Variety also plays its role: by eating diversified foods, pregnant women ensure they get the most out of their snacks, for a worry-free pregnancy.
Did you know that snacks can help you get a good night’s sleep? This is especially true for children: it’s true, eating a small snack before going to bed will leave them satisfied until the next morning and they will benefit from additional calories during growth spurts.
Have you ever been hungry for one or two hours before dinner, and wanted to rely on treats or pastries to forget that frustration? This is where snacks come into play: By eating healthy and nutritious snacks between meals, you make sure you never feel hungry and avoid the risk of succumbing to unhealthy foods. Planning is key: always think of bringing snacks in your lunch at the office or school, slip one in your bag or leave some in the car… in short, be prepared!
Instead of rushing and putting what comes your way into the lunchbox a few minutes before leaving in the morning, plan your lunches when you make your grocery list. Think of the meals you want to eat, and cook them in bigger portions in order to have leftovers, or even freeze the extras for future meals. Use this moment to browse flyers and coupon websites to find the best weekly deals, and stock up on sale items.
Review how your cabinets are organized, and always arrange your dishes and lunchboxes in the same place in order to avoid searching everywhere when making the lunches. Take the time to wash your fruits and raw vegetables and cut them into individual ready-to-eat portions; This will save you a lot of time when making lunches. Same goes for pasta, rice, boiled eggs and vegetables: they can be cooked in advance, then simply put into dishes the day before or the morning of.
A balanced lunch should not only contain the main meal! Don’t forget to include some snacks for cravings during breaks or recess. Opt for protein and carbohydrate-rich snacks to make sure hunger doesn’t creep back too quickly.
It is essential to include fruits and vegetables (1 to 2 servings), cereal products (1 to 2 portions), dairy products or their substitutes (1 portion), and a meat or substitute (1 serving) in lunches. Each of these elements should be the most natural and the least transformed possible. Here’s a tip: take a look at the list of ingredients. If it contains words you do not recognize, don’t buy them!
It’s no secret that exercise should be part of our lifestyle, but did you know that moving can also give you energy? 20 minutes of physical activity is enough! Take advantage of your lunch break to go for a walk, get in the habit of taking the stairs instead of the elevator, get up regularly to drink water… These actions are simple, but they will certainly help you get your groove back!
It is almost impossible to stay focused for 8 hours straight. By taking regular breaks, you will regain your energy and increase your productivity. Different options are available: some take a 15-minute break every 90 minutes, while others divide each hour in 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes break. Whether you go out for a breath of fresh air, read a good novel or answer your emails, these little interludes will make your day much more productive.
Have you ever heard of power naps? These short naps are miracles! Indeed, according to The National Sleep Foundation, a 20 to 30 minute nap will make you more alert, happier and more efficient. Can’t fall asleep? Just close your eyes, listen to music, sit outside or take deep breaths.
Stress is one of human beings’ worst enemies. In our performance-oriented society, we accumulate to-do lists and try to do a thousand things at a time. But what if we went back to the starting point? Learn to practice mindfulness, which involves stopping to think about the future and staying in the present moment. Instead of thinking of everything you will have to do in the next few days, weeks and months, put them in writing, and then dedicate yourself only to what you are doing. You will see your stress decrease and your energy increase in no time!
Your body needs fuel to get through the day, and that fuel is foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Never skip breakfast, and make sure it is nutritious and healthy; instead of the classic pastry stuffed with sugar, eat protein-rich foods and good fats. Same for lunch! You may also need a small amount of extra energy in the middle of the afternoon; that’s when Malyna comes to the rescue with a selection of delicious snacks! Whether you prefer dried fruit or whole grain crackers, you will get the motivation and determination you need to end the day with a punch!