I wasn’t very far along on the motherhood road before the realization that kids can EAT. They demand food all. the. time.
Our eldest wasn’t quite three when we implemented Snack Time. Put simply, if it’s not snack time, they don’t snack. Since that time, the kids have enjoyed a morning snack at 10:00 and an afternoon snack at 3:00. It was a great solution to the incessant “May I please have a snack? May I please have a snack? May I please have a snack? May I please have a snack?…”
Yeah, I know you know are probably intimately acquainted with that very same question.
Well, it didn’t take long for the kids to stop asking. Of course, the little ones (before their ability to recognize numbers) would ask “Is it snack time?” over and over, but it wasn’t long before they too understood that if it wasn’t 10:00 or 3:00, there was no point asking. But consistency is key, as with everything else that goes along with this parenting gig.
We also have a consistent trend for morning snack. It is always fruit. Their afternoon snack varies more. It’s sometimes carrot sticks (they LOVE carrots), pretzels, cheese and crackers, a tiny dish of yogurt with or without granola, a mini muffin if I have some made. Once in a while I’ll make popcorn and we’ll have an afternoon movie. A couple times a week, they get sweets. Outside of residual candy from birthday parties, Halloween or Easter, the sweets usually come in the form of homemade ‘something or other.’ But we mostly provide the sweets right after lunch, like dessert, for three reasons:
…so they are not famished and therefore wanting lots of said sweet
… so their sugar intake is happening as far from bedtime as possible (same reason why they get juice or water in the morning and only water in the afternoon)
… so they form the habit of healthy snacking, rather than grabbing a sweet every time (unlike me who resorts to sweets more frequently than I would like)
About once a month we might have dessert after supper. And chances are it’s a special occasion of some sort. Best to avoid that habit if I can.
A little quick estimating tells me I’ve served over 13,000 snacks in the last 10 years. But I’d love to expand my snack repertoire. Even better is a snack I can prepare at the beginning of the week and just leave in the fridge for easy access.