Instead of informing my kids I was slamming down the hammer on snack time [and boy the thought of that felt good], I decided to make it about their own independence and growth. No longer was I to be a short order snack chef, now if set into place an easy access snack system where they'd become self-sufficient chefs of their own making.... Ok, I had really high hopes for a 6, 4 and 2 year old ;)
But here's what did help to make my mommy life easier.
Water: allowing kids to supply access their own water independently is a huge step towards independence. We used a simple water jug with a spout left in the fridge for cup refills.
Mason Jar snack cups: I grabbed some 4 ounce mason jars at Wal-Mart and started preparing a small snack when I made breakfast for my kids. Our rule has normally been that snacks need to be a fruit or vegetable, and out of the graciousness of my heart, I decided to peel and cut some fruit or vegetables and place them in the fridge. Then, to make things even simpler, I picked up organic frozen berries at BJ’s and put them in the jars to thaw and allow all the little hands to pick out their own cups when their bellies called.
Knowing that fruit would merely hold their hunger for 20 minutes, I add cheese sticks or sliced cheese for them to easily access. Then, I discovered these overnight oatmeal cups and added some small portions in our 4 ounce jars. They’ve been a huge, EASY, hit in our house.
Now, I have aspirations of baking some muffins to add to our snack tray, but that hasn't happened yet. Instead, I added some jars filled with yogurt cups which is another easy, healthy snack.
I’ve found that making changes in small steps helps the change to actually stick, so that's where our snack station will start. Hopefully in a few years, my cooking duties will be split up with little helpful hands, but we'll get there slowly!
Do you have snacking “rules” in your house? How do you handle snack time?
is an author, blogger, and homeschooling mom of four, giving her excellent credentials to run her own circus one day!