Snacking. Grazing. “Just a little piece”.
All excuses for not eating dinner, “just ONE bite, mom?”.
My kids are snackers. Love the snacking, will snack all day … because I let them.
They eat the square meals with us as well and we have rules at the table about clearing your plate and only taking what you know you’ll eat, but also trying something new … no matter what.
This is just what works for us as a family and they’re not snacking on cheetos all day, although … I do let them have those types of things once in a while. It’s a variety – that’s how they like it, that’s how we deal with the dinner time blues.
Both of our kids are Little Dippers. They love to dip their snacks. Carrots in ranch or hummus, pretzels in peanut butter or hummus … hummus goes with everything. They dip in yogurt, soft cheeses, even ketchup on occasion. They love sauce!
That’s a t-shirt – “My kids LOVE the SAUCE”
We frequent the Farmers Market for in-season berries and fruit and I generally let the kids drive the “what are we getting” train. Some times that means we spend $15 just on fruit and sometimes it means we splurge on things like dips, sesame sticks and organic butters. It also means that by the time we’re home they’ve probably already devoured the raspberries (they’re FAVORITE) or made a great big dent in the 20 pound box of blueberries.
I don’t mind that they eat A LOT of the healthy food and some of the not-so-healthy snacks. An ice cream cone peppered in between some avocado and hummus is OK with me. I want both of our kids to love food, not be afraid of it or worry about calories or the junk factor.
I realize I’m sounding like I’m a pro at this which isn’t my intention – but I get the feeling that there’s a huge rift in how we feed our kids and how we view food ourselves. Maybe it’s just my generation (specifically the legacy the women before me left about food) and that I grew up believing that food was evil and the only good thing about it was the sense of control we could feel if we gathered our intentions and stood on the scale obsessively.
I still struggle with this, personally, daily. Food isn’t “good” and it cannot be “bad”. Food is not a moral. It can be healthy or unhealthy, it can be a choice you make for your self, for your health, for your emotions. The most important thing about food, aside from the intake we need to survive, is that we are in charge of the choices we make about food.
The book you just read can’t make the decision for you. The doctor you just consulted with has no power over what you put in your mouth. The magazine cover you stare out as you’re paying for your groceries is asking you to believe in graphic design more than what would be best for your life, for your body and for your family.
I don’t feel that are many RIGHT and WRONG answers when it comes to food but I do feel that food is a journey to be enjoyed and that it’s not always smooth sailing.
So I let my kids along for the ride.
They just happen to be really adventurous … such is their life on a daily basis.