Doritos, fruit roll-ups, soft batch cookies, OH MY! When I was a kid, these were my coveted snacks. My parents were cheap so we never had any good snacks. I was snack deprived. When I spent the night with a friend, I always snacked myself silly. I especially loved spending the night at a particular friend’s house. She and her sister each had separate containers (labeled with their name) filled with their personal stash of Doritos. I wanted to run away from home and join their family over Doritos!
Fast forward to me becoming a mom…
I was talking to a friend who, with her husband, joint-coached her daughter’s basketball team last year. A feat unto itself! She was inspired to think differently about post-game snacks after reading an article, “Soccer Mom… And Food Police!” . She talked to some of the parents and attempted to convince them that snacks weren’t needed. Their games were played in the morning and when they ended, it was lunchtime. Well, this went over like a lead balloon. A couple of times, moms would approach her and say “Ummm…do you want me to bring snacks next time?” People just couldn’t wrap their minds around not having a sugary drink and junk food despite the fact that it was truly unnecessary. Uh…hello? Wouldn’t *that* particular snack be called “lunch”? And it wasn’t just the parents. The kids were whining, too, as they sadly watched the opposing team inhale their post-game doughnuts, 30 minutes before lunchtime.
This snacking business is over the top. When one of my mom friends complained that her kids won’t eat anything at mealtime, my inner Judge Judy is thinking “I just watched your kids demolish a bag of chips followed by a Capri Sun chaser and cookies. Would you be hungry for dinner?” In full disclosure, my kids were over-snacked. I always had a snack in my purse/car/diaper bag/trunk/stroller to ward off the whining. I would make that short term choice at the long term expense of having a mealtime battle later when no one was hungry. We fell into a morning snack/afternoon snack pattern. Snacking had become a reflex or a habit at my house. And you know what they say about a habit? It takes 21 days to break a habit.
Don’t hear me wrong, Smarties. Some children need snacks for health reasons such as regulating blood sugar or to take medication. There are also many of you who are vigilant about healthy foods and your kids eat very healthy snacks. I’m not talking about that kind of snacking. You know what kind of snacking I’m talking about. I also want to be clear that I don’t believe in total deprivement. So, when you see me in the McDonald’s or Chic-Fil-A drive-thru, know that these are in my bag of tricks…in moderation. As I mentioned, I was snack deprived as a child and some of you may think that this deprivation drove me to be a snack-a-holic now. Nope. I’m not a snacker.
I implemented an experiment in my house a few months ago. No snacks. No morning snack. No afternoon snack. And something amazing happened. My kids were hungry at mealtime. They both actually ate green peas for the first time! Do me a favor and read these articles. They might make you think differently, too! Smarties, are you fired up over the snack phenomenon?
Dr. Mom Online
Soccer Mom… And Food Police!
The New York Times
Snack Time Never Ends
ABC’s Good Morning America
Your Kids and Food: The Secret Life of Snacking
Antique Mommy Blog
Love this post and thank you! However, at least I can say the snacks are mostly healthy at our soccer games, but I could do without the sugary fruit drink.Is it because people today have more disposable income than our families had?
Love this. Isn't the go to soccer snack organge slices? It was in the 80's when I was growing up! Someone's mom always had to bring the giant sticky zip lock back of orange slices!
very timely post! As I read this my 2 year old is refusing to eat his lunch because I let him eat crackers on the way home from the park! My latest afternoon snack for my kindergartner is a homemade smoothie-fruit and organic yogurt. I'm the one with the bad snack habits!