Some time between breastfeeding and back-to-school, there’s a transition: a nursing baby can eat up to 12 times per day while an adult human generally has three meals per day with a snack or two thrown in. But let’s make them healthy snacks when we can. Don’t even get me started on the number of people willing to hand my child a cookie on any given day!
How do we get from one point to the other? By making it up as we go.
As the mom, I am in charge of the what, when, and how of snacking. I decide if the whining preschooler rolling around on the floor needs a snack or is just bored with his usual array of toys and activities. I conclude whether my toddler’s recent boneless tantrum can be blamed on low blood sugar and whether I can learn any lessons for next time.
Since I turn into a huge B-word when I don’t get enough quality calories, I project my worldview onto my children. I offer my little people food about every two hours. I like to keep many healthy options around so all choices are good ones.
Here are five easy snack combos (as excerpted from our book, Stuff Every Mom Should Know):
- Apples and nut butter. Slice the apples, spread the peanut or almond butter, and serve with an extra helping of napkins.
- Fruit smoothie. Add frozen fruit, bananas, and yogurt to your blender. Serve with an extra wide straw.
- Hummus and pita. Offer pita for dipping or spread onto triangle wedges of whole-wheat pita. Older children can be offered carrot sticks too.
- Sunflower seeds and raisins. Great for a stroller snack, this modified trail mix can be eaten straight from the bag.
- Cheese and cherry tomatoes. Cheese sticks, cubes, shreds, or circles are a good boost of calcium and protein. Pair cheese with small tomatoes for sweetness.
Another thing the kids love is my Daily Harvest Smoothies. They love to share one of my delicious smoothies. Here is a promo code to save on smoothies
On the weekends, I announce “Snack Time” like clockwork at 10am and 3pm. The boys tend to ignore me and keep right on playing. But on schooldays, if I don’t pick them up from after-school-care brandishing portable snacks, I’m “the Worst Mommy in the World.” Clearly, there’s no right answer.
I’m curious about your house: Do you push snacks on your child proactively, provide them only when asked, or deny them between meals?