Monday, October 18, 2010


Sometimes I think I'm a little behind on my parenting.  About 6 months ago I moved all the dishes in our kitchen around so that the all the plates, bowls, cups, etc are in a bottom cupboard.  Why hadn't it occurred to me before that it would be great if the kids could reach their own cups so that I don't have to come running every time they need a drink???  They can also now unload the dishwasher by themselves, set the table and get a plate to make their own snack on.  Should have done it 4 years ago!

Along the same lines, I'm a few years behind on revising our kitchen when it comes to snacking....

I've been toying with the idea of forcing our family to have more nutritious snacking habits for a very long time.  I've just been a I'm finally doing it.  Last week I got rid of the stuff that I deemed "not good enough" for our house!  But before that I spent a lot of time reading blogs and talking to people so that I had ideas to replace it all.  Here's just one that I've gleaned a lot of ideas from.

Here's one new favorite from that site...chip dip.  Love it!

Just to define where we are at on the scale of "more nutritious"...we do pretty good on homemade meals and our snacks aren't bad but I don't put as much effort into the snacking side of things.  We make whole wheat bread and granola all the time.  We buy some organic products but not everything.  My kids don't know what Twinkies are or other stuff that is so glaringly bad...but often they reach for the goldfish, pretzels or Cheez-its for a snack and I know those aren't doing much for them nutritionally (but they sure are easy!)  So my goals are:

1. Get rid of some of the less nutritious options that sit around our house.
2. Post lists of better options for the kids.
3. Set up our fridge and cupboards so that they can independently make good choices.
4. Make in bulk and freeze some of the things that I know they like I just don't always have on hand (like hummus)
5. Start to educate the kids (and me!) about portion that when we have dessert it's 1/2 cup of ice cream not 2-3 cups with toppings!!!
6. Make knowing portion sizes part of our applied family knowledge
7. Find some recipes for treats that our family loves...but tweak some ingredients so they aren't quite so damaging (my favorite new tid-bit of knowledge is that you can replace fat using pureed white beans instead of applesauce in a lot of things!  Cool, huh?)
8. We will still eat some of the yummy junk out there sometimes and enjoy every bite but I want our daily habits to change long-term!

This week I did the first 3!  #4 is a daily progression.  In all honesty, I don't think the kids have noticed too much.  Changing me was the hard part! 

It's all about changing me first!  A typical school packed lunch for Hayley used to be: 1/2 sandwich, fruit/yogurt, a few chips, a cookie.  About 2 weeks ago I cut out the chips and cookie and tried to replace it with a non-carb option (carrots, olives, etc) and a whole sandwich.  She now actually eats her whole sandwich and hasn't even mentioned the changes.  I panic every morning as I'm making lunch that I'm going to starve her...but apparently the problem lies in my expectations, not her needs!

The new Independent Kid Kitchen Plan...I tweaked an idea from a class I listened to at a church activity recently.  Sherrie had used an over-the-door shoe holder on her pantry door to provide quick-grab options for her kids.  I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me?  The only stuff my kids could reach was the crackers, goldfish and cookies.  No wonder!  I don't have a pantry door but I moved the quick-grab snack items to a lower shelf and put it in divided containers.  I posted a laminated list of snack ideas on the cupboard door.  They love consulting the list instead of me for ideas!  I also realized that a lot of the more healthy options are refrigerated.  We have a side-by-side fridge and a lot of the good stuff like yogurt, hummus and cheese sticks are typically stored on the top shelf which is taller than me.  So I cleared off the bottom shelf.  Put a cute little container on it and made it into a snack shelf.  I also laminated and posted a list on the top drawer in the fridge with ideas of fruits and veggies that they may want to consider for snacks.

Brainstorming:  Before you start squinting to figure out what's on that fridge shelf or in the cupboard...I have a list list of snack ideas that I have assembled and would love you to look it over and email me with your own ideas that I haven't thought of.  I divided it into "Grab it" "Make it" and "Prep it" sections.  It helps me in my planning to look at the prep section to see what I need to make ahead of time and freeze if possible.  Leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send the list to you then I'll compile all the ideas and send the list back out.

Happy Snacking and Feeding everyone!


Anna said...

Talk about inspirational! this post just made me realise I'm a pretty reactive mum sometimes not proactive! I'll take your ideas!

Paul and Nancy said...

Um, I love it all!! I can't actually stop thinking about everything my kid is eating that is really yeah send me all your info cause we need to make changes round here too!

ps, can't wait till Thurs!

Grandma Thiriot said...

What a fantastic mom you are!! Thanks for being proactive in your family's lives. But then, you are always so organized and full of great ideas.

We are waiting for the ? or ? call today !!!!!!!


Lexie said...

Love your ideas, please include me on your e-mail list!

Rachel =) said...

Yeah, I was definitely squinting to see what you had! I'd love to see your list =)