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Sanity Saving Tips for Kids Snacking

This post is sponsored by PediaSure. All opinions are my own.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about 5 Things Kids Need Every Day. I still totally stand behind that list. However, the past week my boys have been home for Fall Break from school and I’ve had 4 hungry little boys to feed in what feels like a never-ending barrage of needing to eat! If I made a gender specific list, FOOD would be on my list for boys!!

It never ceases to amaze me how much my little boys can eat. They are 2, 4, 6, and 8 and my 6 and 8 year old literally out eat me at nearly every meal.

A meal earlier this week my six year old scarfed down the most food, nearly doubling my portion and even out eating his big brother. I don’t know where the skinny little boy puts it all, but it tells me one thing is for sure that these boys are growing!

Sanity Saving Tips for Kids Snacking

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Without fail, the first thing I hear when I pick up my boys from school and we walk in the door in the mid-afternoon is that they’re hungry and would like a snack. At just 3 weeks shy of my due date, I have no energy to whip up some fantastic and overly cute snack.

I’ve quickly learned that keeping a few easy, convenient, and healthy snacks on hand has made an enormous difference in making both me and my boys happy. Now when they walk through the door they still ask for a snack, but they already know what their options are and what they are allowed to help themselves to as long as they have eaten their main meals without complaint.

I won’t do the “I’m FULL” because they won’t try dinner, for example, only to dig into the apple sauce instead. They know the snacks are only for between meal times or after a filling meal if they’ve finished off the casserole dish.

How to Set-up a Snack Drawer

So, here’s what we’ve done that has worked great for us!

1. Create a Designated Space – We happen to have a fridge drawer that is super handy with kids in the home. You could easily replicate the same effect with a mini fridge or using a designated space at kid level in your fridge.

The point is to have a very specific location that is set aside for your approved snacks. You could use a fridge bin to help you keep the kids snacks contained or even a pull-out drawer that already exists. Assess your area and figure out what will work best with you family.

2. Stock-up on Healthy Snacks – The key here is to keep a good variety on hand. Think around 5-6 healthy and yummy snacks your children would happily go for.

I’m always amazed that one day apple sauce is “the” thing and every one of my boys has to have one and the next day they wouldn’t touch touch it if I bribed them to. Kids are just like us, they don’t want the same choices over and over again so keeping a variety helps keep their options open.

3. Set the Rules – This will take some learning together as you figure out what you’re okay with and what you’re not. It also just takes some time to see what is working and what just didn’t for your family.

For us, my boys know they won’t get any of the snacks if they haven’t eaten their meals, for example. That works for our family because I know my 4 year old in particular would skip all meals just to be a stinker and to get to have something else offered to him. Our family rule might not work for your family, though.

I also won’t divvy out a majority of the snack options for off times, like breakfast. We do have exceptions, like they’re allowed access to yogurt and bananas for breakfast as my boys love to pair yogurt with toast or cereal for a quick and more filling breakfast.

4. Have refills ready!! This step may be a bit biased since my house is overrun with boys, but the logic is still there. If you have shelf stable items, keep extras on hand so you can easily pop them into the fridge to replace what’s been consumed so you always have cool snacks ready!

What Snacks to Use?

You might be wondering about now what kinds of snacks to start with. We’re always trying new things and I’m not afraid to try something new to the rotation to see if it’s a good fit, but here are some great picks you can start with:

  • Fruits – Fresh fruit is the hardest, by far, to keep on hand. My boys love just about every type of fruit so they blow through it pretty quickly.

    I try to keep a basket on the counter with fresh apples and bananas, though, that they are welcome to at any time of the day. It really helps my kids turn to fruit rather than sweets and convenience foods for snacks having them so easily available. Our fruit basket also often has the easy peel mandarin oranges when they are available.

  • Veggies – Easy to munch on veggies like baby carrots, mushrooms, pea pods, broccoli, or other vegetables your child may like. Vegetables are often harder to get your kids to eat as freely as fruit but you can have dips ready like ranch, peanut butter, or cream cheese to help encourage your kids.
  • Apple Sauce – Pre-portioned apple sauce is easiest if you have a few kids to consider. It also takes out all the guess work of how much to serve and extra dishes. You can easily do a tub of applesauce, if preferred.
  • Yogurt – My boys are big fans of yogurt! We keep it interesting by picking up different kinds of yogurts from small cups to gogurts and we’ve even done the drinkable yogurts which were a really fun switch!
  • Fruit Cups – When your favorite fruits aren’t seasonally available or you just can’t keep them on hand as easily as you’d like, fruit cups can be a good option. I always peel back the lid and strain out all the juice before serving because they nearly always seem to spill or splash and make a mess.

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  • Crackers & Pre-sliced cheese – This is one of my own favorite snacks, and my boys love it too! I just grab a ziploc bag and pre-slice some cheese and stash some crackers in with the cheese so I have an easy to grab single portion. This snack never last long in the rotation as it is quick to be picked!
  • Popcorn – Small pre-portioned baggies of lightly buttered popcorn is a snack that feels like a treat! As long as you don’t go overboard with butter and salt then popcorn can be a pretty healthy snack!
  • PediaSure – Stocking your snack supply with PediaSure can help sneak in vital nutrients that your growing children need, especially if you are worried about your child’s overall nutrition or development. I have a few very picky eaters, so making sure they get a well balanced diet is especially important to me when it comes to their snacking.

PediaSure is a yummy shake that is available in 5 kid-approved flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana, and Berry. The shakes are kosher, gluten-free, and even suitable for kids that are lactose intolerant.
Because our children go through so much growing up through the age of 12, their snacking can really make a difference in their overall health and well being. PediaSure can give them a great start with a blend of all the vital nutrients kids need including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and 25 essential vitamins!

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I worry about my youngest son’s nutrition as he is 2 and nearly always refuses milk. I just don’t think he likes the taste. Really, I can’t blame him as I’m not a big milk drinker myself. When I introduced PediaSure to him, though, he very happily downed his drink and couldn’t seem to get enough!

How do you handle snacking at your house?

PediaSure partnered with bloggers such as me for its PediaSure Fridgeworthy blogger program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. PediaSure believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. PediaSure’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Alex Roach

Monday 27th of October 2014

Great for snacks!


Monday 27th of October 2014

We keep healthy snacks around all the time.

Connie Tucker

Monday 27th of October 2014

I try to keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand and they are all gathered together in one cupboard and one spot in the fridge.

Trisha McKee

Monday 27th of October 2014

We think snacking is great- as long as it is to curb hunger and healthy snacks are implemented!

MARIA simon

Monday 27th of October 2014

try to just buy the fruits and veggies that my kids will snack on

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