The healthy snack hack that helped my family

Lucy Chesterton

Brought to you by Yoplait Petit Miam

You think you know, but you don't. Not really. You hear other parents talk about how frightening it is when a child suddenly fallsill,when their face flushes and they're listless and sweaty and won't eat and all they want to do is sleep.

When your child is sick, you are desperate to help them feel more comfortable.

For me, the first time I felt that way was my daughter's fight with hand, foot and mouth disease- a horrible viral infection that often starts like a cold, with a runny nose and a bit of a temperature, but soon blossoms into blisters along their arms and legs, on their fingers and toes and tummies, and even inside their mouth.

She'd always been a robust little nugget of a thing with wild curls and an even wilder approach to the world, but here she was, her breathing fast and heavy and her eyes swollen almost shut as she fought off the infection, her usual giant smile vanished.

We'd been to the doctor -twice, in fact- and I knew (logically, at least) I was doing all I could to keep her comfortable with the right professional advice and medications. But the one piece of advice I found hardest to follow was to keep her food and fluidsup,because convincing a sick child to eat is tricky. They don't feel like it, and they're too young to fully understand why it matters. It's tempting is to put whatever you can in front ofthem- sweet ice blocks or lemonade- just to make sure they're drinking or eating at all. I'd raided our fridge and cupboards, and tried everything I could think of.

But in the end, the obvious answer (and the one I could give her without guilt) turned out to be something that had been right there in the kitchen the whole time, something she loves, and something I trust- simple, nutritious yoghurt. Our family's yoghurt brand, Yoplait Petit Miam, is made with real fruit and the goodness of milk, and it's something I know she loves (and makes my life easier, too!). Yoplait Petit Miam is ourgo toyoghurt, a nutritious snack from a trusted brand.

It gave me peace of mind knowing I'd found something she would eat.

As a mum, sometimes it's the simplest things that can save your sanity. Watching my little girl's energy flow back with the right rest, fluids, medicine plus glimpses of her cheeky smile when she had a big dollop of Yoplait Petit Miam made my heart sing. It was the perfect thing for us because it's smooth and cool, so it was easy on sore little throats and painful blisters when she was sick, and it's simple to eat as a snack or mix into a smoothie to sneak in some extra fruit or veg. It gave me peace of mind knowing I'd found something she would eat (that has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives).

But more than the simple benefits, having a healthy snack on hand from a trusted brand - and one I already knew she loved- helped me as well as her. Just seeing her eat something hinted she might soon be on the road to recovery, and that soothed my mum-panic in a way I needed deeply. I felt, at last, that we were both on our way back to being our normal, happy, healthy selves.

I'm so lucky to have the tools I need to put my kids first, to nurture their growth and play, every day.

Now, she's back to her impossibly cheerful, endlessly cheeky self. She spends her afternoons with the energy she needs to explore the rockpools at our nearby beach, chasing crabs with an intense concentration.

I'm so glad something as simple as a healthy snack can make me feel like I've saved my family. Watching my little girl splash in the shallows at the edge of the sand or drag bags of blocks into the backyard and beg me to build with her just reminds me that I'm so lucky to have the tools I need to put my kids first, to nurture their growth and play, every day- and my sanity!

EXTRA SNACK HACKS TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE DAY

1. Dress your baby in the day's outfit UNDER their pyjamas or their onesie the night before.Once you've fed them breakfast, you can strip off the dirty outer layer, add shoes, and you're ready to roll.

2. Set a 'go-time' alarm on your phone that goes off ten minutes before you have to leave.When it goes off, you know it's business time! Drop everything and hustle out the door.

3. Buy a sticky bowl. These clever bowls stick to bub's high-table and can't be thrown on the ground.Babies can feed themselves in the morning while you race around. No mess, no fuss!

4. Keep easy access snacks on hand.Choose aportion controlledsnack like Petit Miam yoghurt to pack in bags, throw in the car for a short trip to keepenergyup and prevent a hangry (hungry-angry) meltdown.

Brought to you by Yoplait Petit Miam.

For more information on Yoplait Petit Miam visithttp://www.yoplait.com.au/RELATED: Create Instagram Worthy Snacks for your Toddler.RELATED: TheParent Hacks I Wish I Knew Sooner