We need to teach our kids to eat real food. But in order for them to be able to eat real food, we need to have it available to them. And in order for us to have it available to them, the bottom line is that we have to deal. (Trust me. I wish it was as easy as clicking your heels together 3 times and having a fridge full of healthy, real food snacks.)
Snacks are so often considered to be food you find in your pantry, right? Pirate’s Booty, granola bars, Goldfish…you get the idea. But why? Why can’t ‘snack time’ be associated with opening up the refrigerator to find real, fresh food?
Real food doesn’t ‘have’ ingredients. Real food IS ingredients. ~Jamie Oliver
It’s time for us to make a shift in our thinking. It’s time for us to encourage eating snacks from the fridge. And a good way to have food available is to prepare on the weekend.
Your goal should be to have 2 or 3 real foods that you can provide as snacks whenever your kids (or you, for that matter!) need a snack.
The foods I prepare are: rice and beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli.
Rice & Beans: I make this beyond easy for myself to prepare. I buy Whole Foods frozen brown rice, saute it (I use the entire bag) with a little butter, add a can of black beans, a dash of sea salt and 10 minutes later I have rice and beans for the week.
Sweet Potatoes: I put 2 sweet potatoes on a lined cookie sheet and roast them at 400 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. I then cut them into snack size portions.
Broccoli: I steam a batch of broccoli for the week.
My kids love broccoli (cue the angels singing) so I choose to make it for the week because they actually will snack on it. (Again, cue the angels.)
But your 3 things might be different. Maybe you will cut up cucumbers, peppers, and carrots and have crudite ready to go at a moment’s notice. Or perhaps you want to make a stack of healthy banana pancakes. The point is to make REAL FOOD snacks to have on hand when you or your kids get the itch.
Now when my kids ask for a snack, they know there are 2 kinds: cupboard snacks and fridge snacks. Would I love to do away with all cupboard snacks? Of course! Realistic? Obviously not.
In our house cupboard snacks may at times be eaten during the day. But if my kids are STILL hungry after a cupboard snack then they must move onto the fridge snacks. And after dinner ONLY fridge snacks.
Teach your children about proper nutrition. It will serve them a lifetime.
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