Friday, August 14, 2009

Snack Attack!

I've been thinking about food a lot lately, actually when am I not thinking about food or feeding someone? But with back to school just around the corner I've been thinking specifically about snacks. I know schools have it hard with what to do about snack time. They have agencies telling them what they can and can't serve, they have parents saying things can't be in the room because of allergies, there is the cost of feeding the students every day...but a child can only eat so many crackers and cheese or pretzels and cheese and those seem to be in heavy rotation at school. I remember in school it was called "fruit break" and you had to bring a piece of fruit. So on my back to school "to do" list is to figure out how to approach the school and try to get more fruit into the snack rotation (without sounding like an overly crunchy granola mom!)

My snack problems aren't limited to school. Because my daughter was young when we moved to the suburbs she had a really hard time adjusting to the amount of time in her car seat, which she hated. So to keep sane we always feed her in the car. Well just like Pavlov's Dog now every time we get in the car, even right after a meal, she wants a snack. So we are working on ridding that habit hoping it will lead to better meal eating.

To help with that we instituted a "snack box" on a shelf that they can reach in the pantry. If they are going to be snacking in the car they get to pick from one of these small already portioned out bags and that's all they get. The days of mommy's bag being filled with snacks are over (there's no room with all the potty training material I need to carry!) Most of what's in there though are the bottom of the boxes of crackers, goldfish, cereal, dried fruit and nuts. Well now that it's empty I need to build some more and I went looking for some new ideas that would be healthy and that they will eat...I'm also thinking of making a snack box for the fridge to get some more fruit and veggies in them. So I have been pursuing Google and looking for some ideas, and from the number of blogs and websites, apparently I am not the only one with this on my mind!

So here are some of my ideas and others (other peoples link to their site). I need to make a Trek to TJ's (please, please, build on closer!) because their dried and dehydrated fruit is always a hit!

Snack Box ideas (Pantry)
  • Cheerios and raisins or craisins
  • sunflower seeds and raisins or other dried fruit
  • TJ's sweet, savory and salty trail mix
  • almonds and fruit
  • fig newtons (we like the Dominick's eating healthy organic whole wheat ones)
  • grahams crackers
  • goldfish
  • any of Annie's bunny's
  • mini bagels
  • Late July PB sandwich crackers
  • homemade mini muffins (Entenmann's makes a HFCS fee one that is a good alternative if I don' have any made)
  • Cut flour tortillas into triangular sections ( like a pie ). Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until crisp. Dip in applesauce and enjoy. The sweetness of the applesauce eliminates the need for any added sugar on the tortilla crisps. (I can't wait to try these!)

Snack Box Ideas (fridge)
  • baby bell cheese wedges
  • cheese sticks
  • snap peas (farmers market is our first choice)
  • baby carrots
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • cold sweet potato fries (although my kids don't eat these like they used too!)
Now these sites all had great ideas if I was organized enough (really I just look organised, I'm not!) to actually prepare a snack for them, as opposed to the grab and go. Maybe I will get there when they are both in school and I need a snack waiting for them. I may actually steal some of the ideas for lunches, because lunch is always more fun, and therefore more edible, when it's new and interesting.
Do you have any great snack ideas to share? Let me know and I'll them to the list! Happy snacking!

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