By Heidi Combs
Remember the old TV shows, “Leave it to Beaver,” and, “The Brady Bunch”? The kids would wander in after school to find fresh-baked oatmeal cookies and frosty glasses of milk on the table for their after school snack. Mom (or was it the housekeeper?) would be standing there in her apron, beaming, as the kids enjoyed their feast and talked about their day.
Fast forward to 2005. We dash into the house at 3:23. One kid needs to use the phone, one has to find his backpack, the baby needs changing, and everyone is hungry. Oh, and we all need to be back out the door on the way to swim lessons by 3:30. I grab a couple of bananas on the way out, like I’ve done a thousand times before. Good thing my kids like bananas!
The truth is, it’s tricky to provide healthy snacks- even on less hectic days. Parents know that kids love to snack. We’d like to see them noshing on nutritious fare, but we don’t always have time or creativity to manage this. The supermarket is full of kid foods in bright packaging… but much of it is full of sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of super-quick snack choices. I keep it taped to the inside of a cabinet door in my kitchen. Most of these snacks can be pre-packaged in plastic baggies and grabbed on the way out the door- literally.
Applesauce or cottage cheese snack cups
Crackers with cheese or peanut butter
Frozen grapes (Warning: choking hazard!)
Mixed Fruit snack cups
Raisins/ other dried fruit
100% Juice Boxes
All of these snacks are more healthful than the kid-sized portions of junk food we might be tempted to grab instead. Jot these down, maybe add a few I didn’t think of, and tape the list inside your kitchen cabinet door. I feel calmer now when I have to dash out the door with my hungry kids, and they’re thrilled to be getting something (anything!) besides bananas…
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