March 21, 2014

Snacks for the Family

Obviously, a big theme of my life is learning to take care of myself in the midst of family life. I chose them, I love them, and I wouldn't change them.  However, I am finding that having snacks ready to go is a huge plus during this season of my life. Now, I've figured out my meal packing and family dinner preparation, but one area I was still struggling was snack food. We have bins of veggies, fruits, and dairy (yogurt/cheese sticks) in the fridge. But I was buying a lot of snack food- granola bars, etc.- that add up very quickly. Part of the problem is that kids were grabbing those things because they were easy, rather than eating dinner or heating up leftovers. And there are times were I need to yell at them- "Grab your water bottle and a snack and GET IN THE CAR!" (Not that I ever yell. Ever. <eye roll>)

I needed to portion out the snack stuff I brought into the house. Magic! All of the sudden, kids were not eating mass quantities of the convenience stuff. Now, I'm not sure what happened, other than they are aware they have a limited quantity and therefore are being smarter with their choices, but it's working. 

Basically, I just used the same awesome candy jars my mom bought for me (family holiday tradition thanks to my grandmother). Instead of putting all the granola bars in one bin, all the fruit snacks in another, jerky in another, etc., we parcel them out by person.

Here's how it works:
  • Kids unload car. 
  • We stack like items together on the counter. 
  • We divide up the items based on likes/dislikes.
  • We put items in the jars. 
  • Dad gets a plastic bin to take up to work.
  • Kids eat out of their own candy jar. 
  • If they dislike something, they can trade with a sibling for another item.
Love it. Not my problem anymore! And our budget is going further as well... (I still don't understand the mechanism here, but it suspect it has to do with greed and territorialism.... I'm kidding... sort of.)

Lots of junk in these jars, but mostly healthy-ish stuff from a discount grocer nearby.... kids picked Buddy Fruits, Funky Monkey fruit snacks, veggie chips, beef jerky, some candy, etc. I scored some Perfect Fit cookies (protein), olives, and nuts. I actually find I need to reapportion my bin during the week to share with the kids because I'm just not getting through them... which is good, but also nice to have some quick options to grab if I get behind on my eating plan.

And I'm having fun playing with Canva and Zemata to help with my blogging. Neat tools I learned about from other A to Z bloggers by visiting their blogs!

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