I have a love/hate relationship with snack food.
I love it for obvious self-indulgent reasons, but I also detest spending money on “fluff”. I have 3 little ones, two girls who are 6 and 4 and a little boy (who will be one in April!) who eat as though they are 18, 16 and 13, respectively. Thankfully, they are as slim as can be, except for our one year old who we affectionately call “Butter”…all 28 kissable pounds of him!
We tend to eat substantial breakfasts, and we have the luxury to do so most mornings because we homeschool, so running late for the bus is, thankfully not a problem. (Now, getting dressed before we start Math is another issue, but that’s another blog post for another day…) I try to make heartier morning meals so that [in theory] they won’t need snacks while we are in the middle of our lessons. Then, when we do break for lunch, we typically have something lighter – leftovers from a previous dinner, finger foods, or maybe an egg-based meal. I am blessed with great eaters and there are only a few meals that they have wrinkled their noses at, so keep this in mind as you read my suggestions…if your munchkins are picky eaters…well…I address that in a minute, but you can also adapt.
Now, here is where I become a really bad mom. I KNOW that kids really do need snacks, and I am not opposed to snacks – I’m opposed to junk that kids think they are entitled to.
Enter: Tough Love
We only have a few snack rules in our house:
Now, as I mentioned above, if left to their own devices, they would eat every hour. So here is my solution:
Enter: Tough Love Meets Vegetables
Having veggies washed, cut up and readily available eliminates the constant whining about starvation that sets in at 2 years old. My kids know that if they complain about the slow pace of dinner, I will undoubtedly direct them to our produce drawer in the fridge.
Now, lest you think I am a vegetable pushing ogre, let me assure you that we do have other snack options!Here are a few things that I try to keep on hand:
And finally, one last organizational tip that has helped eliminate ME from the snack equation: Make a snack bowl. I have designated a basket in our fridge that holds all snack-related foods. Depending on the items, I may bag them individually, but all of the items I have listed are easy enough to obtain that I am not constantly “making snacks” for my 6 and 4 year old.
And now, for our REGULAR meals this week:
Monday – Cold Quinoa Curry Salad with diced chicken and veggies
Tuesday – Salmon Salad on toasted bread with a green salad
Wednesday – Roasted Chicken with root veggies and steamed broccoli
Thursday – Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas (with leftover chicken) with black beans and rice
Friday – Calzones with mozzerella, basil and roma tomatoes
What snack food items do you keep around your house?
This post was linked to Women Living Well Wednesdays at Women Living Well, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Your Green Resource at Live Renewed, Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health, Frugal Friday at Life As Mom, Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade, Monday Mania at Healthy Home Economist, Real Food 101 at Ruth’s Real Food, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Sunday School Blog Carnival at Butter Believer, Mentoring Mamas at Simply Living For Him, Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Seasonal Celebrations at The Natural Mother’s Network, Traditional Tuesdays at Cooking Traditional Food, Fat Tuesdays at Real Food Forager