Chicago mom: Snack baskets make eating healthy a no-brainer

Whoever made up the term “stay-at-home mom” was very clearly not a stay-at-home parent. This person obviously had zero clue. For one thing, I am never home. I am continually getting children in and out of the car for ballet, soccer, tennis, story time and a whole host of other activities.

I am thrilled my kids are involved and that they really like all the activities. However, when I am home, I feel like all I am doing is emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes and then collapsing on the couch just in time to doze off during another episode of “New Girl.” (Falling asleep at 7:00 p.m. is a new low.)

Running all over town has become my new normal. So has listening to the constant complaints about hunger from my three active kids.

I have been hitting a homerun with healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners, but when it came to snacks, I was content bringing Goldfish crackers wherever we went. The kids however, had their own opinions on the matter.

“Mommy, I’m hungry.”

“If you look in the ballet/tennis/soccer/library bag there might be some Goldfish.”

“Mom, again with the Goldfish? C’mon.”

My kids called me out on my laziness. There’s nothing worse than when your kid calls you out. Oh wait, yes there is, when your kid calls you out in front of their friends’ parents.

I didn’t want to be known as the “Goldfish Mom,” but more importantly, my kids were right, they needed variety and something a bit more healthy.

It was time to get on the ball when it came to snack time.

My kids needed foods that were filling, healthy, portable, and tasty. So, once a week, I make snack baskets. I have a snack basket in the fridge and one on the counter filled with fun, pre-portioned snacks for my kids to grab before we head out the door.

Snack baskets include:

– yogurt

– cheese sticks

– oranges

– apples

– raisins

– carrot sticks (put in snack size storage bags)

– applesauce

– dry cereal (put in snack size storage bags)

– homemade nut-free trail mix (Quaker Oat Squares, Craisins, Raisins, Pretzels, and Chocolate Chips)

Our lives are still pretty hectic, but the complaining about hunger has stopped. The kids love the variety, and that they can pick up whatever they like and eat it as we go on our way.

I like it because well . . . I won’t be known as the “Goldfish Mom” anymore.

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