Cut It Up
Whenever I serve my kids snacks, I always portion it out. If I’m serving something like trail mix, I put it into little cups that hold exactly 1/3 cup. If I’m serving fruit, I always cut it up and divide it between the kids. This is a huge savings because, if I send them to get an apple, they each take one, and two of them leave at least a third of the apple around the core and then throw it away, believing it’s done! That’s two-thirds of an apple wasted! Instead, I slice two apples and divide them evenly between my three kids and add some cheese or nuts or a glass of milk. No waste and everyone’s satisfied!
This probably sounds like a lot of work, particularly if your kids are all still really young. Believe me. I’ve been there! Here’s another idea for you:
Sort It Out
Get a plastic platter with compartments and an airtight lid. I got a nice, big, round Tupperware one from a garage sale. Actually, I think I got mine for free. On the day you do your grocery shopping, take a few extra minutes to fill each compartment with something different – chopped veggies, cheese cubes, fruit (cut it up and soak it for several minutes in a water/lemon juice mixture), nuts, dried fruit, granola bar bites, pita chips, etc. If you want dip, you can make veggie dip or yogurt fruit dip or Happy Apple Salsa or hummus or whatever. Store this in the fridge. When snack times roll around during the week, give each of your children a small bowl or container and let them choose what they put into it. Then close the container up and put it away immediately. Don’t refill the container until it’s totally empty. My kids love the weeks I do this. And they get a nice variety of snacks and they are all healthy! It’s also super easy.
Make It A Combo
I have also found that my kids don’t get hungry as often when I combine their snacks properly. If we’re having fruit or veggies, I always pair it with some sort of dairy or protein. Apples and cheese or a glass of milk, dried fruit with nuts (trail mix), raw veggies and yogurt dip or hummus, etc. If I give them just an apple, or just a bunch of carrot sticks, they’re hungry 20 minutes later!
If your kids are asking for a snack and it’s really close to mealtime, give them some raw veggies. They’ll eat them because they’re so hungry, and you don’t have to worry if they don’t eat their veggies at supper! It’s a win-win!