There is no better way than calling these three words to start a stampede in a house full of kids!
I have mentioned a few times before that my house is a popular drop-in spot for neighborhood kids. The most popular time for drop-ins is right after the grade 3-6 dismissal bell. Even though T is in grade 2, after school snacks wait until L (grade 3) gets home.
I do not have snacks all set out when the kids come in the door. They have the freedom to choose what they would like for their snack. (Most of) The snacks are kept in a lower cupboard or in the bottom of the fridge for easy “little hands” access.
I am always amazed by the snack choices made by the children who are here at snack time. The varying preferences can be quite staggering. I keep a little of everything and it is all dipped into by one child or another.
The children of my family actually seem to be the odd ones out. I don’t tell them what they can or can’t eat, with after school snacks anything goes (unless the boys have something in the house that they bought with their own money, those are saved for just the two of them and not to be eaten in front of others). The choices they make are usually not things that would normally be chosen by kids with such a variety in front of them. The current snack selection is:
A box of bran cereal
A HUGE bag of candy (3/4 of the Halloween candy and all the candy since)
Florida’s Natural Nuggets and Sticks (fruit snacks)
Nature Valley Sweet ‘N Salty bars
Crackers (soda and Breton)
Goldfish snack crackers (individually packed)
Apple sauce (unsweetened
Yogurt covered cranberries
Quaker chocolate dipped granola bars
Bits & Bites
Quaker Crispy Minis rice cakes
Special K Fruit Crisp bars
Kashi Fruit and Grain bars
Apples (only honeycrisp in this house)
Muffins (bran chocolate chip)
Guess where I’ve noticed the trending in visiting children? Right to the chips, chocolate bars and candy. Guess where the kids in my family go? Right to the “real food”.
Today we had no extra visitors (it was pretty gross outside, most families went straight home after school). The snacks for today were as follows:
Lil Mr: fruit cup
Lil Miss: yogurt and bran (this has become a family favorite)
T: goldfish crackers
Lil Mr: yogurt covered cranberries
Lil Miss: yogurt covered cranberries
L: a waffle
This was not an unusual day for snack choices. The kids consistently make choices like these. They have full access to all the choices available all the time.
When other children visit, their immediate reaction to the choices available is “CANDY!!!!”. These visitors sometimes sway the L, T, lil miss, and/or lil Mr that way, and I’m okay with that: it’s not like that’s what they eat every day. More often though, these four show their enthusiasm for the more nutritious choices and the other kids agree to give it a try.
I’ve blogged before about my kids choosing to read. I’ve blogged before about using the choices method with responsibilities and chores. This blog entry is about snack choices. I will NEVER say that my kids always make the right choices, but most of the time they seem to be making pretty good ones.
I wish I knew what I do to get the kids to choose the paths they do, because obviously it’s something. I guess I will just keep doing things the way I have been and hope that the positive choices last through the rest of their childhood and the teenage years…..OMG! The teenage years are getting close!
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!