Thursday, June 23, 2016

snack bags!

I try to make most of my posts for a general audience, but this one is especially for parents.  We've tried a few things lately with our kids that have worked SO well! so I felt like I needed to share. :)

Problem: It's snack time! and I never know how much food to give my kids.  Whether we're talking crackers, nuts, dried fruit, ... - Too little and they're hungry again in five minutes.  Too much and they won't eat dinner (and I'm feeling guilty about giving them a pound of Chex Mix).  "Little Boy, I'm sorry that my handful came out looking like more on her napkin than yours."  

BUT They never complain about the amount of snack in a pre-packaged bag, I noticed one day.

Solution: Snack bags!

The day I gave them pre-packaged snacks and enjoyed the heavenly sound of no complaining, I went home and got out my snack-sized Ziplock bags, kitchen scale, and our boxes and bags of snacks, and I started separating.  I measured out bags according to the serving size on the nutrition labels (usually around 30 g / 1 oz).  I ended up with around 50 baggies of snacks.  I put all the bags in a designated drawer in the kitchen, along with any granola bars and "official" snack packs we had.  I explained to the kids that some bags look like more full, but that they all had the exact same weight - some foods are just heavier than others.  

what's in our snack drawer right now
Sometimes I surprise them by putting in two baggies of chips or M&Ms, but it's usually crackers, dried fruit, or nuts.

We also have a snack box in the fridge that has string cheese and baggies of carrots, apples, other produce.  Sometimes I let them have one from both the drawer and the fridge - crackers and cheese or apples and peanut butter, for example.  The kids are allowed to eat produce basically anytime so it's handy to have that cut up (especially if it's something like cucumbers or broccoli).

We fancy.
We have snack time at about 3:00 every day.  When that time comes, I no longer have to think of an answer to the question of what snack will be.  I don't dread the whine that comes when I give an answer someone doesn't like.  I just tell them to grab a snack bag!  And everyone's happy.  They're excited to choose their own, and I'm excited that I don't have to choose anyone's but mine.  We literally have never had a complaint about portion size, either.  When it's gone, it's gone and snack time's over.  If you're still hungry, good!  That means you'll be ready when it's dinnertime. :)

This has also worked great for when we're going to be away from home at snack time.  Sometimes I have baggies in the car, but usually I just tell everyone to grab one before we leave.  So much more convenient than passing around a whole box!  Even when we went on a car trip recently, we just brought a bunch of baggies.  

The adults in our family follow the same portions, by the way.  It's been great for helping us not eat a TON mindlessly.  I wondered if we'd fizzle out after a week, but we still love them as much as we did on Day 1!  This is definitely a trick we'll be sticking with.

Part 2: CANDY


Life isn’t to be found in holding on and looking back, but in letting go and looking forward.
Life Goes On
Philip Gulley


Tracie said...

I have done the same thing for years now. It is even nice for the hubby to have something ready to grab for a quick snack. Glad its going well.

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