Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mommy School 2011-12: What I've Learned This Year About Snacks

It's that time of year--parties, programs, graduations.  Teachers assess what kids have learned and kids reflect on how they've grown up since August 2011.

I've seen such changes in my kids this school year--big and small.  Then I thought about what I've learned about mothering this school year, and there were a few things I learned as well.  You'd think that after you've been parenting as long as I have that you'd have it down. 

You'd be wrong.

I thought I'd share a few of the best things I improved since August 2011.

Every day after school, my kids burst through the door, throw backpacks wherever they can, and say, "I'm hungry!"  Until this year, I would tell them to find something to eat and get on their homework.  We always have a huge bowl of fruit on the counter, but they would wander to the pantry and find a sleeve of crackers or a package of fruit snacks most of the time.

This year I changed my approach.  Fifteen minutes before school got out, I would take some time to cut one vegetable and one fruit--enough to fill all the empty bellies.  Then I would take the tray to the homework table and when the kids came home, we would snack while they told me about their day and started their homework.  I discovered that they didn't miss the crackers or fruit snacks at all and we had an extra serving or two of fruit and vegies that day. Some days I would forget or be too busy to prepare this snack for them, and on those days Micah would invariably look at the desk and ask, "Where's our snack today?"

I found that it became part of their routine and turned a crazy, complaining time of day around to a positive way to unwind from school. I'm definitely keeping this up next year (and over the summer, too!)


  1. Love the idea! You are great to make it work--afternoons are so crazy. Thanks for sharing a success. It amazes me how it is the small and simple things that the kids love and that mean so much to them-- Like healthy snacks ready when they walk in the door, and talking with mom about the day.
    My kids can't leave for school without their "mom note" written on their lunch sack. They will even hunt me down with their lunch and a marker if I have gotten busy and forgotten.
    I'll have to see if I can make some good changes to our after school snack routine next year.

  2. Jen, don't know why I showed up as unknown. Kristin Caffrey.

  3. What a great idea. My husband's mom used to do the same thing. She would cut up apples or little bunches of grapes for everyone to snack on. And people always chose the fruit rather than going to the cupboard.


  4. It seems like we always have somewhere to be right after school. But I can't use that as an excuse. The girls are as happy with cut up apples as they are with nacho chips. Thanks for the healthy reminder.

  5. What a great snack idea! It's a little more work, but what a great habit you've developed! I can remember my own mom cutting up carrot sticks for us, or giving us a little cup of raisins. No one had ever heard of fruit snacks back then! Good for you -

  6. i love those days when i have the snacks ready! the transition is soooo much easier. but i don't have to worry about that for awhile cause we are free!!!!!:)
    have a happy day jen

  7. After school can be such a frustrating time (at east for me!) My son walks in the house and heads straight for the pantry! Drives me crazy! We usually eat an early dinner, 4:30 or 5 and so I often have veggies or fruit out too when he gets home. I think it's great your kids have come to look forward to that. Mine would still rather have something from the pantry! :(