It’s three in the afternoon, and you’re four years old. Lunch is long over and done with, and dinner lurks in the shadowy realm of “later.” What do you do when your tummy growls?
“Mama, I wanna candy, please!”
Alas, Mama has other plans for your hungry tummy. You’re not getting candy. Wait, what did she just say?
“Sorry, Sweet Pea. No candy, but you can have an apple.”
Okay, so such redirection isn’t always that easy, but when the options are no or have this instead, the good-for-you snack is more likely to win out. In our house, as long as it’s yummy and comes in countable pieces, it’s readily accepted.
With the typical busy schedule, it’s hard to rustle up healthy snacks. The convenience of pre-packaging gives sweet or salty treats a leg up. But wait! There’s a better way! Let’s go back to that apple.
Junior loves apples, so we keep them on hand. To make things easier on him, we do our own bit of pre-packaging. Slice three or four apples and toss them with a little lemon juice. Divvy the slices into reusable containers and pop them in the fridge.
The same can be done with other bulk items. Blocks of cheese can be sliced or cubed, whole grain cereals or crackers can be portioned into small bags or boxes, and fruit juice can be frozen into ice pops. Do your kids love those little cups of yogurt? Buy a big tub of plain yogurt, stir in a little vanilla extract, and let your kids have fun adding their own stir-ins like granola or diced fruit.
Get creative and have fun. See who can guess the right number of sections in an orange. Make plate pictures of sailboats with cheese triangles and apple wedges. Share your best theories about why strawberry seeds are on the outside. It may look like just a snack, but it’s actually a mini bonding break.
Remember the cookbook giveaway from a few days ago? Well, here’s your second chance to win a copy of Alice Currah’s Sweet Savory Life: 100 Simply Delicious Meals for Every Family Occasion. Leave a comment describing your family’s favorite or most unusual snack. Our esteemed panel of culinary experts (me, again) will choose a winner from the pool, and the poster will win the cookbook and bragging rights.
What’s on your plate?Photos courtesy of stock.xchng