We got the food storage covered I think, don’t we? What I struggle with more is getting the kids to eat healthy food on a regular basis. My younger son is good about eating fruit and veggies but my older son now tells me he “doesn’t like” basically everything that isn’t junk food. I limit what they get that is not healthy (I’m not a total buzz kill) but convincing an almost 7 year old that they need to eat more healthy things is not always easy. Creativity comes in to play and I often rely on my awesome smoothie making skills to sneak some kale or spinach into them. But I think teaching kids about eating healthy is important too – instead of just tricking them.
I do a shopping and prep day on Sunday to set up for the week. Some of our favorites are…
Frozen pancakes: My kids eat them right out of the freezer. I think this is weird but they have always done it. So I make batches of healthy pancakes by adding ground flax meal, bananas, chia seeds, and yum them up with vanilla and cinnamon. I make them small and they snack on them when they’re hungry. This actually works out well because they don’t need the syrup which is delicious, but just added sugar.
Cheese and fruit: We cut up low fat cheese and keep in the fridge or snacking. Paired with a sliced apple or some berries this ties them over until dinner. Some days almond butter makes an appearance instead of cheese.
Smoothies: I purchased a Blendtec blender in June and it’s the most used and loved appliance in my house. I blend fruit, almond milk and greek yogurt, sneaking in something like chia seeds, walnuts or spinach and you’ve got a power packed snack.
I polled the Facebook Fans on their favorite after school snacks and here’s some great ideas I want to use myself (you are all very creative! Lots of snacks I hadn’t thought of)
Kelly W says “I have a snack menu posted in the kitchen with ideas in 3 categories: fruit/veggies, protein and treats (which is mostly carb stuff but also fruit popsicles, popcorn, granola, etc.) They can pick 1 item from each category. Works great for us. They have some freedom of choice/control over what they eat but it is also teaching them about healthy choices and balance.”
Trina suggests “An apple sandwich. Remove the core, cut the apple in bagel like slices and put on peanut butter, honey, brie or goat cheese, nut/chocolate spread or whatever they like and sprinkle with sesame or pumpkin seeds.” – Love this idea because the kids will think it’s fun and it’s not a ton of work.
Lisa says “I’ve had dinner ready at 3:30! Especially if its in the crock pot. Snacks later on in the evening.” I think this is pretty brilliant if you don’t need to wait for your significant other to get home for dinner. Might as well just feed them a healthy meal when they get home while they’re actually hungry. You might get more healthy food in them this way anyway!
Websites for good snack ideas:
Weelicious – Recommended by Cheryl on Facebook – recipes for first foods to school lunches in one tidy food resource