Monday, May 19, 2008

Kitchen Rules

Do any of you have particular rules about snacks in your house? For instance, I desperately want food contained to the table for snacks. My kids seem to think there should be an open door policy for the refrigerator. This is something I don't care for as I will suddenly find that a child isn't hungry for lunch because she filled up on 4 apples.

We typically do breakfast, morning snack, lunch, early afternoon snack, late afternoon snack, and dinner.

I dislike telling the kids "hey, put that back we're having snack soon" I have recently had to start getting tough on snacking between designated meal and snack times because otherwise a particular child of mine sits at the table and cries about not being hungry for her meal. She would naturally graze all day and not eat a single meal if it was up to her - and she actually tries her hardest to make that happen!

How do you break up your schedules for meals and snacks? Do you let your kids run to the fridge/pantry to help themselves? Also, do you have any healthy snack suggestions? We're starting to get a little tired of the same old, same old here. We don't buy processed food snacks like fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, or handi-snacks... (there's probably a lot more out there, but I just don't know what they are!)

Here are M.o.M.'s old standby snacks :

~ Applies sliced with peanut butter
~ Celery sticks filled with cream cheese
~ Pretzels with French onion dip
~ Pita with Hummus
~ Pistachios
~ tortilla chips with salsa


brietta said...

I have to say that I've eliminated snacking completely from our day unless, for example, I know we're going to be eating a late(r) dinner. We typically eat breakfast around 8 or 8:30am, lunch around noon, and dinner around 5 or 5:30pm (since Daniel has meetings most evenings, an earlier dinner is required for us in order for him to be leaving again by 6 or 6:30pm). With this sort of schedule, there's not much need for snacking.

And I'm exactly like you-- I don't want to go to all the work of making a well-rounded, nutritious meal only to have my kids not be hungry for it! I also like food at the table. The one exception is Sunday nights when we specifically have a special movie & snack night in place of a normal dinner (while Daniel's at LIFE Group, which he leaves for at 5pm).

When we do snacks, it's typically much of what you describe. Sometimes I'll just put some dry granola in a dish for them. Wheat thins, raisins/dried cranberries, and baby carrots are also favorites-- and I like that they require no prep on my part!

P.S. I never knew anybody to dip pretzels in anything until I married Daniel and he dipped his pretzels in ranch dressing. Turns out, I like it! But I still thought it was something only he did. Good to know it's "normal." :)

Darlene Sinclair said...

When my kids were all little and under my domain, we ate together, usually only at the table (popcorn, apple slices in a bowl, maybe a few crackers eaten in front of the TV were exceptions from time to time.) We never typically had snacks - I just never felt the need nor had the time. And they were never allowed to help themselves.
Now the younger ones have older siblings, they eat more often in the family room, and snack whenever (younger being 12 and 15...) Merrick, my 9 year old, still needs to get permission to snack, and I keep it minimal because of the spoiled apetite dilemma you've mentioned.

Sounds like you have a pretty good variety of snack options to me! Pretty good stuff!

Sarah O said...

One of the families from our church (the one with 13 children) has some good snack rules. The children are ONLY allowed food at meal times and the two snack times. When they turn 12 they are allowed to get a snack whenever they want to, but it has to be healthy.
I think it is a good idea to restrict eating to designated times (and areas!). Otherwise the kitchen can be constantly being dirtied! Very tiring.
We do snack times here, just mid-morning and after naptime. I need a snack just as much as Kate does, and it helps me to wait and not graze! We usually have fruit, crackers and cheese, pitas and hummus, pretzels, dried fruit, smoothie, or whatever we can find!

Carole said...

I can echo your same frustrations. Just today I had to put the baby gates back up on the kitchen doors to keep the two little ones out of there (not only do they scrounge for food, they have found the shish-ka-bob (sp?) skewers).
I like the designated snack time approach - just need to be more disciplined about it myself! I can not make it throughout the day on only 3 meals. I need to eat more frequently. Our snack choices usually are fruit or vegetable based, or perhaps a bagel, toast, smoothie or yogurt. If we have sweets around those would be for an afternoon snack.