A Little Snack Time…Play With Your Food!

My 5 Year Old:  Mom, I’m HUNGRY!
Me:  Eat an apple.
My 5 Year Old:  I HATE APPLES.

Sound familiar?  For the record, he doesn’t hate apples, he gets bored with the same old snack routine.  He just doesn’t know how to tell me that yet!  So, here are a few ways that I like to revamp snack time so that it is totally awesome (and mostly healthy) and no longer LAME!

1.  Relax.  I never stress out about my kids eating habits.  One day they will be so hungry that I feel like I’m in the kitchen non-stop.  The next day they barely eat enough to keep a bird alive.  It’s fine.  They eat when they are hungry and with kids, sometimes they don’t really need much to maintain.  When you stress about food they will too and that can create a larger problem for them down the road in the form of an eating disorder, overeating, emotional eating, etc.  If you are ever really concerned with their appetite or lack of one, talk to your doctor to make sure everything is okay.

2.  Art/Fun.  My kids love when I put a spoonful of peanut butter in the center of a plate with apple slices all around it like a flower.  If I stick a carrot on my kids’ plates they will maybe eat it.  But if I give them tiny carrot circles with a toothpick for stabbing they get really excited!  It takes some extra work with cutting but my kids totally eat it up.  Pun intended!

3.  Lax Rules.  Let them blow bubbles in their milk.  Let them build a tower of crackers and cheese.  It’s just snack time.  Sometimes I’ll put my kids’ snack in a dog dish (specifically purchased for snacks, no dogs have used them) and let them eat like puppies.  Who needs manners?  We save them, and the silverware, for dinner time!

4.  Choices.  Raisins or Craisins?  Apples or Oranges?  Carrots or Celery?  Yogurt or String Cheese?  Chocolate Chip Cookie or Toast with Nutella?  If they choose it, they will be more apt to eat it!

I don’t do the artsy and fun stuff all the time, just every once in a while, to keep them guessing! 

What are some of your kids’ favorite snacks and/or how do you get them to eat up?

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