So for anyone who has children eating solid food, you may be starting to get overwhelmed by all the snacks your children are consuming! We are going through this very thing in our own home with an 11, 9, and 4 year old. It goes like this...every week I go buy groceries. Admittedly, I am not the most organized grocery shopper and often get what looks good as I'm wandering the aisles. But I always need snacks! Lots of snacks! I'm talking like fruit, fruit snacks, energy bars, cheese crackers, yogurt, JUICE (for goodness sakes don't forget the juice! My kids might actually die of dehydration if there is no juice *note the sarcasm here)! Graham crackers, cookies, chips & string cheese, and that's usually one week! It's a little embarrassing to admit that I do actually buy that many snacks a week, but we can't keep them, the kids eat them all up. I have always stressed that the kids must choose a healthy after-school snack and then maybe right before dinner (if they're starving, which they always are) a small snack like cheese or fruit snacks to hold them over and then they always want one right before bed. Its exhausting! And wasteful! Just eat a meal for the LOVE!
So here I was...another day complaining to my husband in the kitchen about all the food the kids are eating and how they're always hungry because they aren't making healthy choices when it comes to snacks. And his answer at first was...quit buying them. Well, duh! But that's not going to work. We're on the go a lot and everyone is running in different directions, so we still need snacks, we just need them to last more than 4 days! The second solution...quit feeding the entire neighborhood! That is a really good point! Not only do they want snacks, but they have good manners and offer their friends a snack as well! Now... how do we let the kids have a variety of healthy and indulgent snacks and still be aware of who they're eating around and how much they're eating? This is what we came up with! I posted it on my personal Facebook page and got a great response!
We give our kids $5 a week to pay for snacks. We have several free options so they'll eat something that is actually filling. They put their money in a jar when they want a snack. When a friend is over, they have to buy a snack for that friend or wait until the friend leaves. At the end of the week, they get to keep the leftover money! My kids are very motivated by money.
You know what happened? They don't eat all the snacks! They fill up after school on a sandwich or something free. They wait until dinner to eat again! They may or may not get a snack before bed or they may just have a glass of milk! AHA! We've got some pretty smart cookies in this house. I haven't had to buy snacks for 2 weeks. I don't think we'll need to continue this for very long. But the kids have learned to be aware of what they're eating and how much it costs to keep these items in stock for them. They also like having a little extra cash in their piggy banks! Good math lesson, good life lesson. I call this a win-win!
How do you control the snacks in your home?