Attack of the Snackers!

My husband and I are in an ongoing battle over the kids’ eating habits. He thinks they snack too much leaving them not wanting their meals. And sees all of the excessively useless eating as the reason why we won’t be able to afford their college educations. Keep in mind, this man considers misappropriating even the smallest dollup of ketchup a major waste of money. And I agree, to some extent. But what he is missing is the onslaught of nagging that takes place between meals.  It feels like I’m being attacked by those scary monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. I shutter at the thought. My 5 year old could win an Oscar for her daily performance as a child on the brink of starvation if she doesn’t have a handful of Goldfish 30 min. before dinner time.

For my children, school starts in 2 weeks and that means they will walk (or be carried) in the door tired and hungry.  There are only two ways to avoid those arched-back meltdowns that occur by having A.) Lovey/Blanky in hand and B.) A snack for the little monkeys.

I know we are all guilty of handing over to our children a box of Goldfish or a bag of pretzels in order to silence the situation. But there is a better way to combat the issue. Portion control and smart choices should be your first line of defense. You need to create a system that gives your children healthy choices while making it easy on you. How many of you have heard yourself run down the snack list for your child like the short order cook that you are only to be shot down at every turn? You can reverse this if you give them back the power. Simply create a pantry or snack drawer system that gives them choices that you both will feel good about and that will stave off hunger while not over sugaring them. If I can offer a snack that fills them up enough to get them to meal time but remain hungry for whatever lovely concoction I am offering then I win!  And the ole’ man can bow down to me as I do a victory lap around the kitchen table.

Here are just a few ideas for snack systems:

1.  Bins are always a favorite at Ducks In A Row. You can use bins for so many things including your pantry. You can purchase bins like the ones below at the dollar store and use a label maker, Sharpie or other creative labels to identify what is in the bins.

Yellow Kid Snack Buckets

{via Pinterest}

2.  Another great idea that I stumbled upon was using Tupperware containers to separate snacks. And on top of that you alphabetize the labels so you encourage the kids to put them back in order. And go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for incorporating a little school work into your method.

alphabitized pantry bins

{via The Letter Cafe}

3.  And lastly, I have been seeing this idea all over Pinterest. I am not sure this would fly in my house seeing as my kids would probably rip it off the door but an over the door shoe organizer might work for you. You could go a step further by creating a reward system with all of the “goodies” in the hard to reach pockets. If you are looking to bribe, uh, I mean reward your child for good behavior maybe they qualify for the lollipops way up top…

wall o snacks

{via Sisters of Nature}

Regardless of which snack system you choose, always keep in mind portion control and offer snacks that fill you up. Protein is the key here!  But also try to avoid sugar, which is a catalyst for hunger.

Here are my kids’ TOP 5 HEALTHY SNACKS:

1.  Fruit & Veggies– Whatever is in season.  Right now we are devouring tons of watermelon and strawberries along with our staple, carrot sticks.

2.  Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/Hazelnut Spread– The key here is protein, protein, protein to help fight hunger and keep your child fuller longer.  You can spread these options on celery, apple slices, rice crackers, you name it!  And they are also packed with fiber to help those little bellies digest food properly.

3.  Veggie Straws–  We like the Sensible Portions brand, which also offers yummy Apple Straws.

4.  Popcorn Trail Mix– This should be at the top of the list because it is one of our ultimate favs!  It is a little bit sweet and a little salty.  Not to mention it is dairy free, gluten free and vegan!  Here is the recipe for Popcorn Trail MIx.

5.  Cheese Sticks– We don’t discriminate in our house. Cheese is cheese, but I am so pleased with Sargento’s fridge pack for dispensing.  Helps keep things nice and tidy in the overstocked cheese section of the fridge.

Whole Foods Trail Mix

{via Whole Foods}

What healthy snacks do your kids like? We want to know!

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One thought on “Attack of the Snackers!

  1. Pingback: Back to School Organization - mom tattles

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