Hearty Snacks: Set Your Children Up for Success

My big little guy is now in K. Both boys in school together. I peel my eyes through the pickup jumble to spot their swagger at the end of the day. Two chances to hear about what they did. Two chances to hear about their friends. Two chances to fill up my racing mind. The car will be buzzing. You’ll need to take a number and get in line to get a word in.

“How was school?”

Collectively: “Fine”.

“What did you do?”

Collectively: “Usual”

Seriously? Why did this chatterbox of epic proportions be blessed with boys? The struggle is real folks. One last try.

“Did you like your snack?”

“Caleb brought Cheetos, can I bring Cheetos tomorrow? And Sarah brought candy, I’m going to bring my bunny from Easter”.

Mic drop.


hearty snacks: set your children up for success raleigh moms blog

I silently filed the observation that food was the new starting subject and blasted myself for not seeing that as it was clearly an obvious mom error. But guys, there is a bigger issue on hand here. Way bigger.

I was sitting at the boys’ CrossFit Kids class watching with amusement last week and got to chatting to another mom. You know when guys suck their stomachs in when hot bikini clad women walk past them on the beach? Yeah. My experience with women mimics that through conversation. The conversation starter is always about fitness or food. I like reading, traveling and art also. Sigh.

The mom was so excited for her daughter’s interest in the sport as apparently nothing else tickled her fancy. Her concern was real and I got excited with her as we discussed Kid Spartan and Ninja locations that I just knew the girl would get wide eyed over. OK, so who am I kidding, other moms nail it, I really DO love talking about fitness.

But what I don’t like, is hearing this: “Thank goodness she is active, because she eats like crap.”

Mic drop. Again.

Did she just say her daughter eats like crap? I know I am 4 years new to NC, but I was unaware driver’s licenses were awarded to 7-year olds. And credit card applications. And little people’s interest to solely take on the family shopping.

Time and money. I am well aware that we are all in desperate search for more time and money. I look under the couch regularly for it. Either one. Maybe both are there. There is never enough of each. But, neither of those are needed to accomplish a very important parental task every parent is deemed to tackle: Set your children up for success.

The mom at CrossFit was a Super Woman in her own right. We discussed her laundry list of jobs inside the home, Nursing School classes and the emotional toll of losing a father and brother-in-law recently. Yes, in one class’s time I became a therapist. It’s OK, as a mom, it’s our innate ability to recognize a fallen comrade.

I set to work. I told her before anything else, allow yourself to be proud of where you are and give yourself a break. Life is tough! Then we discussed these simple rules for household nutrition:

  1. Pick one bad food choice a week and swap it with a new one
  2. If you eat it, your kids eat it
  3. Be prepared

Overhauling an entire diet is an undertaking no one would want to take on nor would it stick. Too much change is a recipe for disaster. And, if you eat it, your kids should eat it…who has time for two meals? But if that means scaling your high end gourmet dinners, please do. Or vice versa. Work with what your kids like. But don’t put the pressure of them “eating like crap” in their hands. Take that ownership and help each other make smart food choices. Then, we discussed packing your refrigerator with the right choices and having it available. We discussed simple meals that can be prepared at night, sit in the crock pot or thrown in 1 dish to bake. Pinterest is my friend.

Now back to the Cheetos. Our babies are being held to higher and higher standards in the classroom. At home, I expect them to keep their rooms clean and feed the dog. At school they are expected to solve mathematical equations on top of acute engineering experiments simultaneously comparing to every previous century while mining their P’s & Q’s as they are laser focused and alert. That is a lot of pressure for a Cheeto. Let’s give the Cheetos a break and leave this for the big boys.

I’ve said it before, food is fuel. We feed our stomachs AND our minds. If we demand success from our littles in the classroom, we should give them the tools to achieve that.

Sample healthy snacks:

I have a small Tupperware that I fill for their snacks. One kid has early lunch and late snack and the other is opposite. It’s my job to prepare them for the day…the long haul. I put a few different things in there and keep the balance with protein, carbs and fats. Yup, all three. Here are a few ideas of many!

turkey/cheese rollups, raisins
crabstick, grapes, dried cranberries
mini pepperoni, cheese stick, celery sticks
celery with cream cheese, raisins
mini bagel with cream cheese, granola bites
home-made granola bars, carrot stick

Feel free to comment with questions or suggestions!


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