How to cut out unhealthy snacks

How to avoid those pesky cookies

How to avoid those pesky cookies - Credit: Getty Images/Fuse

Dodging the Jammie Dodger or maybe you have a penchant for a chocolate Hob-Nob when your energy reserves are running on half a bowl of Frosties?

Either way you will be doing little to help yourself both physically and mentally if all you can manage is five minutes in the company of the biscuit tin. It seems to be every mother’s plight: time to eat properly. It sounds so simple but no matter how well we seem to plan our weekly food consumption, the fruit bowl remains untouched and the chocolate disappears in a matter of minutes.

Lose the leftovers

Coming out of winter is a particularly difficult time as we have spent months hidden away in layers of warm woollies while telling ourselves that hot-chocolate and marshmallows is good for the soul…and besides, the kids love it.

So we might consider that the blame for low energy and weight gain is not all ours. Little people also have a short attention span when there is the allure of the Disney Channel, hence plates come back to the kitchen laden with the tempting remains of fish fingers, cute pasta shapes soaked in butter, and half a white chocolate Magnum (although devoid of most of the chocolate). What should we do with said banquet? Either bin it straight away or cover it in washing up liquid rendering it inedible.

Of course we all know it would solve a lot of problems if our offspring would cherish the attributes of broccoli, but we are in the real world and this is very rarely going to happen (Gwyneth Paltrow excepted). So to avoid this particular obstacle – and similar situations that see you reaching for the sugar mountain – always make sure you are not so hungry you will eat anything.

Ground rules

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While busy mums are beholden to little ones in terms of time, this issue goes far wider. A survey carried out by a baked goods company revealed that more than 50% of Brits are too busy to deal with their diet, 40% eat breakfast within ten minutes, and a fifth skip breakfast and lunch altogether and snack throughout the day instead.

There is little wonder therefore that highly processed sugar-laden snacks (including many breakfast cereals) are still so popular, regardless of our increased awareness about nutrition. So what can we do about it? Without wishing to state the obvious DITCH THEM!

It is even more important when we are time poor to stock up on the foods that will give us the most nutrients in one sitting. One of the best and most repeated rules is that 50% of the plate should be veg or salad. The latter is easy, pile it on. Here are a few more ideas which we hope will help you on the right track:

• Get organised – lists really do work! Stick to a shopping list and you’re less likely to impulse buy, if there are no chocolate bars you can’t eat them

• Write off white – make the simple switch to brown or wholegrain with bread, pasta and rice

• Keep it simple – ditch complicated recipes, if it’s easy you’ll stick with it

• Go with gadgets – invest in a decent blender for fruit and oat-laden breakfast smoothies, and soup makers are pure genius for maxing out on all types of veg in record time

• Be a rainbow warrior – involve the kids and see how many colours of vegetables you can get into each meal

• Moderation is key – deny yourself and you’re doomed! We all need a little treat now and again but maybe just one glass of wine rather than the whole bottle?

Then lo and behold it’s Easter…but stick to real eggs, they’re a quick and easy meal any time of the day and are packed with protein, B and D vitamins, selenium and iodine. And at about 70 calories eggs are for life, not just for Easter.

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