Strategies to Avoid Endless Summer Grazing

Has anyone else already fallen into the abyss of summer snacking? Food is disappearing around here faster than I can keep up. It appears that all rules were thrown out the window, yet I don't recall making that a conscious choice. There are already a dozen reasons why concrete plans have not been laid, and nor should they! It's summer after all and at least on our end, we've had college reunions to attend, visits from grandparents, and the general "let's just take the first few days of summer to decompress".  

Well, already it seems like the fridge is open 24/7 and the grazing has taken over our entire first floor. I'm not opposed to snacking, I'm opposed to grazing. I understand that I have 4 growing kids that need to eat (a lot), but we need a bit more structure and a bit more forethought. And given the amount of "free time" my kids have, there's really no good excuse for why we shouldn't come up with a good snack plan.

Today's Goal:

  • Come up with a plan WITH THE KIDS
  • Together, brainstorm 5 good snack ideas per kid, that can be shared.
  • Determine ONE time in the morning and ONE time in the afternoon for snacking. Multiple snacks during that timeframe are fine, as long as they don't affect lunch or dinner. 

Of course, 5 snack ideas that come in a package straight out of a box aren't going to cut it. I cringed inside when the summer camp my son is attending this week offered Rice Krispie Treats, Nutri-grain Bars, and Fruit Snacks. A banana was offered ONLY to the kid with allergies in case he wasn't able to eat the intended snack; Umm...why couldn't the banana be the primary offering?!

Here are the guidelines for each kid's 5 choices:

  1. One fruit-based snack
  2. One vegetable-based snack
  3. One snack higher in protein (than the ones listed above)
  4. One homemade snack that doesn't require cooking or baking
  5. One baked good that can be made in advance and portable (make a double-batch and pop 1/2 in the freezer)

      BONUS item: One packaged snack that is "mom-approved"

Here's what resulted:

We were off to a pretty good start by just brainstorming, but eventually needed a little idea boost. Turn to cookbooks, cooking magazines, and the internet for more ideas. Just Google "Healthy Snacks for Kids" and you'll find endless ideas.  Hopefully, we'll be motivated to revise our list next month. Happy snacking!