Monday, April 16, 2012
My kids are constantly asking for something to eat! You would think that they hadn't eaten a banana, pancakes, yogurt, and 12 ounces of milk for breakfast, when at 10am they're asking for a snack. I finally decided to just let them feed themselves, sort of...
Every kid knows where the snacks are. And they're usually just out of their reach, to keep the little monsters from gobbling them all up! I figured if my kids were always going to be nagging me for more food, I might as well give in let them have free reign over their snacks. Now we all know how it would work out if I constantly left bags of chips and boxes of fruit snacks in reach of their grubby little paws. They'd probably end up fat and with some other health issues too. So I just gave them different snacks.
I cleared a spot in the fridge and made it the "Kid's Shelf". It's stocked with cleaned, sliced cucumbers, red peppers, broccoli, grapes, pears, plums, snow peas, cheese sticks, yogurts, berries, and pink lady apples when I can get them. They can grab any of the "treats" off the kid's shelf whenever they're hungry. The only rules are that they can only have one of each per day and they have to ask first. The kids feel all cool because they can get their own snacks and choose which one they want, and I'm OK with it because all of the choices are healthy ones. They also get a sense of independence and feel important because they have their own shelf. I've even seen them grab things that they may not necessarily eat if I put it on their plate. Neither of them will eat stone fruits if I hand it too them, but if they can snag a nectarine on their own, it's in their belly before I can even tell what it is.
Now instead of "I'm hungry", "I want a snack", and "What can I eat", I hear "Can I get something off the kid's shelf?"