Like many families, we have been sheltering at home over the past ten weeks to flatten the curve. Also, like many, my kids like to snack when they get bored. Who knew a four and a nine-year-old could consume so many snacks?! In the beginning, I struggled. I beat myself up because I was afraid I wasn’t making healthy choices or providing enough healthy options for my girls. To my surprise, they both typically make pretty smart decisions about their snack choices. Here are some of their favorites:
- Granola bars
- Goldfish crackers
- Cheese sticks
- Mini naan dippers
We have tried to keep some sort of schedule during quarantine to try to preserve our sanity and our snack budget. My husband and I are both working from home full time. Our nine-year-old just finished third grade, and our 4-year-old is preparing to start pre-K. If it were the girls’ choice, they would camp out in the pantry and eat all the snacks in one day. Most days, we follow a meal schedule that goes kind of like this:
8-9 am: Breakfast
10:30 am: Snack
12:00 pm: Lunch
2:3o pm: Snack
5:30-6:30 pm: Dinner
For the most part our schedule has been pretty effective. Here is the exception: When your four-year-old asks you thirty-seven times for another snack, sometimes you cave. She knows my weaknesses; she is my kryptonite. Her go-tos are: “pretty please mommy” and “but I asked nicely.” Checkmate kid. You win.
I’ve served so many snacks over the past ten weeks that I have seriously contemplated legally changing my name. Among the front runners are Snack Slinger, Granola Bar Gatherer, Apple Attendant, Goldfish Gopher, and Cheez-it Chief. Then I remembered how much of a pain it was to change my name when I got married, so I decided I will just stick with Mom for now.
Now, who has the best snacks, you may ask? Hands down, Target and Costco. First, Target’s Market Pantry and Archer Farms brands are stellar. They have so many affordable options that taste the same, if not better than, name-brand items. Some of our must-haves are trail mix, granola bars, and occasionally the giant tub of cheese balls. Costco comes in a close second when it comes to buying snacks. We like buying snacks here because we can buy in bulk. This can be much more cost-effective when you are packing lunches during the school year and feeding feral children during quarantine. They have great produce choices, healthy snack options, and don’t forget wine and margaritas for mama.
I already knew my kids loved snacks before quarantine. I didn’t realize how much they actually learned and understood what I have been teaching them. I am proud of them for making smart choices and understanding the benefits of putting healthy food in their bodies. I will admit, I sometimes wish I would make better choices when it comes to snacking habits. Maybe now it’s my turn to learn a thing or two from my girls.