Snack Saver

Snacks are a necessary evil with children. They could graze all day, and I could too, truth be told. I find that a bit hard on the budget, as well as the nerves. What mother hasn’t wanted to run screaming from the house after the 500th “I’m hungry” of the hour?

Not all snacks have to be shared on the floor, but it minimizes dirty dishes.

Not all snacks have to be shared on the floor, but it minimizes dirty dishes.

So, I instituted a snack policy. First, no sweets before lunch. Second, no snacks after 4:30 (our dinner is around 6:00). Third, no snack if the previous meal wasn’t eaten, unless the child is finishing the leftover food.

Here are some of my favorite snacks:

  • crackers and cheese
  • fruit and yogurt
  • homemade popsicles
  • apples and peanut butter
  • homemade granola bars
  • mini-muffins
  • homemade popcorn
  • veggies and dip
  • cheese quesadillas
  • leftovers
  • tortilla chips and melted cheese
  • applesauce

Now, I don’t know about your kids, but mine can make the kitchen look like a bomb went off.  Crumbs and peanut butter smears everywhere.  So, being the Type A mom that I am, I created a snack protocol for acquiring, eating, and cleaning snacks:

  1. Ask permission.
    • Timing is everything.  No, you may not have a snack 15 minutes before the next meal or 15 minutes after the last meal that you wouldn’t eat.
    • Some food is meant as ingredients for meals or to be consumed for a certain event, such as a park day.
  2. Fix snack-size portions.
    • I buy food to be eaten but not all at one sitting.
    • A meal is looming in the near future, and I expect you to eat it.
  3. Eat at the dining table.
    • Finding petrified food under the couches or in the closets makes me crazy.  The ants that find all those partially eaten foods make me crazier, a very combustible combination.
    • I know what you ate and didn’t eat, which will directly affect the outcome of your next request for a snack.
  4. Clean up when you’re done.
    • Your mess.  Your responsibility.
    • I have a meal to make soon, and I won’t be happy to clean the kitchen when I need to be cooking.  That means you won’t be happy to be called in from playing to mind your mess.

A snack is tidbit of food to tide you over until the next meal. A roll of crackers or a family size bag of chips does not qualify as a tidbit for children under the age of 10. I realize if I had teenage boys, I might be forced to redefine my snack terms, however my girls can hold their own in the food consumption category.

What are your snack ideas?


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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