School’s out for another day! And you’re hungry.
Some young people find themselves home by 3.30pm, while others are busy with after-school clubs and groups. Challenges can present themselves in both situations when it comes to healthy snacking.
At home, boredom and ‘sitting-all-day fatigue’ can cause many children or teens to travel a familiar route to the kitchen once they arrive home.
Many will overeat after school to relieve tension of the day, especially emotionally sensitive kids. Some overeat to fill the ‘empty-house syndrome’ if both parents are at work.
Even the route home from school is laden with traps – namely, the big-name fast food places (see story on page 6). Students are usually hungry by mid-afternoon, and falling for the burger, fries and soda trap just doesn’t do a person good.
An occasional junk-food trip is fine for teens, but a daily fast-food diet is laden with dangerous fats and calories – and it doesn’t do teens’ complexions any favours, either.
This is one of the current topics challenging local teens who are part of New Shoes, a unique weight loss programme in Cayman for teenage boys and girls.
Smart kids are thinking about where they eat and choosing healthier options. One young participant in New Shoes is no longer eating three patties a day as meals and snacks and is gaining new insight into healthy eating.
Parents are taking an active role as well by providing healthy on-the-go snacks and staying far away from fast foods themselves.
No matter how busy your lifestyle, with homework and activities, it is important to take time after school to get out in the fresh air, move around and play, and eat a nutritious snack.
Lifestyles New Shoes for Teens Weight Loss programme offers these healthy tips for after school snacking:
Ask your parents to purchase healthy snacks you most like and not buy those that cause you to overeat.
Determine the time to eat the snack and practise portion control.
Stay busy if snacking is a way of dealing with boredom or loneliness.
Email [email protected] for more information on New Shoes for Teens, beginning again after Easter.