Kids like to snack, adults like to snack, heck I like to snack! But so often finding healthy snack foods is difficult. The ones that are quick are often loaded with HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup, or obesity in a bottle), sodium, empty calories and garbage, the ones that are prepacked are full of preservatives and more garbage and sometimes fruit and veggies just aren’t an option.
Now we are super fortunate because Bethany and Audrey LOVE their veggies, all sorts and their fruit so that’s never a problem. The thing is, you can’t just eat fruits and veg, you need protein, and complex carbs and fibre. And since I can’t trust the manufacturers to provide us with healthy and easy options, we decided to make our own.
One of my big rules with the girls is they have to try something once. They have to taste it without saying “Yucky” first and they have to swallow it. Then they can choose if the like it or they don’t. I also believe in making it fun, and removing as much of the pressure as possible.
I’ve found with our girls, especially Bethany that taking her shopping with me and letting her choose a new “healthy” snack out of the bulk section helps. She’s tried and liked soy nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds (the last two thanks to Grammy) and pumpkin seeds. She’ll eat a few cashews and has learned that she really doesn’t like raisins that aren’t in cookies. Audrey has discovered she likes pretty much everything.
So we go to the bulk section, choose out a bunch of healthy choices (6 or 7 of them) for each kid, most of the time they choose the same thing but sometimes Audrey adds something else into the mix. Then we choose one treat item, often either M&M’s or Rosebuds.
Once we’re home we begin building our mix. The girls have their own “Special Mix” containers, and they have to put a 1/3 cup of 4 healthy items into their containers, then they are allowed 1/3 of the treat. They repeat this process over and over until the containers are full. Then it’s on with the lids, on with the tunes and the shaking begins.
By the time our song is over, the mixes are done and the girls are ready to try them. They get given a scoop of their mix for a snack and they’re in heaven. It feels like a treat because there is one or two pieces of chocolate in the mix, and the know that the other things they are eating are good for their bodies. They also have to eat the entire mix, healthy items and treats before they are allowed any more. That stops them from eating all the Rosebuds and calling ‘er done. I usually serve them in small Tupperware containers so if they don’t finish it I can put the lid back on until they do.
It’s an excellent way to make snack time fun and I’m so glad we do it. How do you keep snack time healthy and fun?