Saturday, March 22, 2014

Snack Attack

So. I have had this post in my draft for about two weeks now and keep forgetting to publish it.

Turning 45 is making me change my tune a little about eating healthier.

Read: Not dieting, just a change in the diet beginning with snack time.

I am so guilty of providing the easier, boxed, go-to carbs for my kids snacks instead of a "healthier approach".


A couple of bloggers posted some things that helped me make the move to better snack intake.

There was Laurie, who has posted a couple of times about a book  she was using called Eat This, Not That.

This book has taught me tons about nutritional facts and explained it in lay-men's terms!



It is actually one in a series by the authors.  (Check them out here.)  I went with this one first because it encompassed all meals.

And then there was Sarah's post on some healthy snacks (including the recipes and pictures) that she made ahead of time for her home schooling kiddos.

**Speaking from experience, the pantry or fridge of a homeschooling family really must be carefully stocked at all times during the week since the kids - and usually a bunch of 'em - are at home all.  day.  long. And the older they get, the more they eat!**

You can see Sarah's yummy post here.

So....

Last week, for the first time ever, I actually sat down and wrote out a "snack menu" for the grocery list.

(*Denotes time-saving items that are totally worth the splurge.)

1. Apple slices & peanut butter (*I bought two packages of the pre-cut apple slices.)

2.  Carrots & Natural Cheese Squares (*Variety packs can be found in the dairy section.)

Note:  I made sure that I would clean and thinly cut the carrots sticks, putting them into a ziplock bag, making sure they were readily available.  Being readily available is the key.

3.  Black bean chips & guacamole or salsa.  (*Black bean chips are $, but they are pretty much the only healthy chip out there.)

4. Pretzels & peanut butter or tuna.

5.  Pita bread & thinly sliced deli ham & cottage cheese.

6.  Triscuits (or whole wheat cracker) & Hummus.  (I made my own hummus in the vitamix!  It can be frozen up to six months.)

7.  Smoothies.


It worked!

Next to the menu on the side of the fridge, the kids could see the "snack-of-the-day".  As long as they ate what was on the day's menu (or left over snacks from the previous days), they did not have to ask; they could just dig in.

I love to cook and bake!  But everything in moderation, right?  So, desserts are now saved for Sundays and special days.

In summary, we survived the absence of the empty carbs, we are eating less sodium but more protein, my food bill did NOT increase, and there was always snacks in the house.

P.S. Working on a second week's worth of healthy snacks to keep the rotation interesting.



~  Patty  ~

9 comments:

  1. Have you ever baked pitas for chips? They're really good, and very easy! (I would have to google it to find a recipe, though!) You just slice them, brush some olive oil on them, season them the way you want, and pop them in the oven!

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    Replies
    1. Those sound good, Mary. My older girls could even make them for the rest of us. Thanks for the idea!

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  2. Love this, my friend!
    We too have found that a "scheduled" snack in the morning keeps the grazing at bay.
    I like your ideas, and some are the same as mine.
    Some others...peanut butter bananas, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly with crackers, and lately we are loving whole wheat back thins.
    Now...we still love our baked goods here! But all things in moderation, right?
    One thing we do...we only drink milk, water or orange juice. No soda, koolaid, or sports drinks.
    Unless its a party, of course!

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    1. That should read BAGEL THINS. : )

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    2. We don't do soda or sports drinks either. The only one who likes soda is little man, but sugar gets him REAL hyped up ;)

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  3. We already eat some of those, but I could add the others to our snack menu ideas. Thank you for the suggestions.

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  4. I have all this...except the black bean chips and pita bread.

    We quit buying chips a few weeks ago, because lunches became chip eating time....kids don't need that crap, right...but then we had grilled sandwiches on the menu this week and I picked up chips to go with that meal...I feel I've fallen!

    Raisins, prunes and cheese sticks are good ones too! My kids like nuts too. We do popcorn too quite often...no butter. (but we do use salt!)

    I used to do daycare (pre my own children) and I had lists and lists of healthy snack choices...I need to find that, huh?

    Thanks for the reminder for healthier snack choices, we all need those reminders, and being prepared and having a plan is key!

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    1. Actually, after comparing the packaging labels, the pita bread was worse than the Weight Watchers thin bread slices when it came to sodium. So I started buying the Weight Watchers thin bread slices. If you come up with more healthy snack idea, let me know!

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  5. Thanks for sharing the snack ideas. Keep them coming! You are SO right, if the snacks are not planned/pre-made it's just a graze fest here. It seems that as homeschooling, at-home mom I have found that the household (and budget) thrive better when I am planning the food. I have done so much better this school year with our menu for lunch and that has been a lifesaver. The last month or so snacks have been better, but I am still working on a master list. All around though it helps me in so many ways and are better food options for my kids.

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