Some of you might know that I have been teaching a Spanish enrichment class at Diego’s school this year. The first 15 minutes are spent in the cafeteria for an after school snack. At the end of a long school day, the kids are hungry! Unfortunately, it leaves me without an appetite. Despite the fantastic lunch his school provides (um, salad bar!), I am not impressed with the end of the day snacks these kids are served. I understand…the kitchen is closed and they get what they can get. Often times though, it is a packaged snack full of preservatives and junk I can’t even pronounce.
This made me realize that no matter how healthy anyone can try to be with their kids at home, eating out is hard. Even as adults we sometimes struggle while trying to choose healthy from a restaurant menu. I learned that we have to teach our kids how to balance their diet now–so they don’t get into trouble and sruggle with food later.
If you look at the images above, Jordi (almost 2) and Santi (3 1/2) will eat everything except the edamame–because they haven’t tried it, and the hummus– because I always forget to buy it. They love sprouted bread with natural peanut butter and beg for dark chocolate mixed with un-salted nuts. When I don’t buy treats from the bakery (not packaged), I like to make my own banana or oatmeal muffins and vow to bake some more.
Diego (7) on the other hand, will only eat fruit, carrots (not celery), the muffins and the chocolate. We only have Goldfish and Pirate’s Booty in the pantry for him, but he knows that those bags will only be an occassional treat from now on (or when he’s hungry at school, with friends, etc.). I still allow squeezy/tube yogurt but that will soon be gone too, because I have seen the little guys grow to love Greek yogurt mixed with our own fruit and granola.
As the years have passed, I have become more aware of feeding their little bodies right. I feel that Santi and Jordi are easier to feed because our way of eating is so much better than it was five years ago when Diego was Baby Jordi’s age. Along with tastebuds, even personalities must be considered when trying new things. I believe behavior and concentration are linked to food, and have witnessed major craziness after a special day full of M&M’s, fries and ice cream!
See? I’m not a mean mom! Hubby and I love to eat out on the weekends and I don’t put any restrictions on my kids’ diet. I just want to eliminate things in my home that have no nutrional value just for the sake of holding them over til the next meal.
It seems like my kids can snack all day long. They are growing boys who love to play sports and need proper food all day long. I’m dedicated to make these little snack changes right. But what else? I seem to struggle with adding more food choices. Do you have any other healthy snack ideas you think these little guys might enjoy? Please share!