Parenting

Rule #14: Snacks are for the weak, not for me.


Ok. Snacks are not just for the weak. Snacks are for everyone. But one Saturday morning while watching tv with the girls, I asked BW if she wanted a snack. Her response? “Snacks are for the weak, not for me.” I’ve loved that line ever since.

Before we became the Willard Family of Five, I was one of the crunchiest crunchy people you would ever meet. I shopped as locally-sourced as possible when it came to food. The only type of meat I would purchase was grass fed meat, free of antibiotics and hormones. I watched countless documentaries, read numerous nonfiction accounts about the food industry, and was convinced that eating all natural and as close to the earth as possible would not only benefit me but also the world.

Then I went grocery shopping for the first time for a family of five. Y’all. I don’t even know what to say. What I will say is that I was willing to pay over $8 for a gallon of organic milk on that first trip. Since we were going through 2-3 gallons of milk that first summer, we did not continue purchasing organic milk. Honestly, I felt like a small piece of me had died.

Living a semi-crunchy lifestyle

Since that time, Chris and I have tried to find a balance. Personally, my diet is still heavily concentrated on meats, veggies, fruits and as little sugar as possible. I do splurge more than I used to and eat grains and dairy every now and then, but not at most meals.

For the other Willard House members, their diets look very different. Our girls eat breakfast and lunch at school during the school year. Since the quality of school lunches has changed in the past year or two, they’re getting more sodium and saturated fat than I prefer. And God knows they aren’t eating locally sourced food, no matter how cute the infographics and posters are in the school cafeteria.

So what’s a mom to do who used to be crunchy, is now crunchy-ish and has yet to instill her crunchy ways in her kids? For the last two years, my answer has been to control what the kids are eating at home, pack food for road trips, and feed the girls healthy snacks. 

One advantage we have is that our girls love eating fruits and many vegetables, as long as we dress the veggies up a bit. Here are three go-to snacks for our girls that I never feel guilty about giving them:

Ants on a log

This oldie but a goodie is a favorite in our house: organic celery, all natural peanut butter and raisins.

Apple slices with peanut butter

Our girls love dips! I’ve tried to get them to eat almond butter in place of peanut butter, but almond butter apparently doesn’t hold up to peanut butter.

Treat yo’self trail mix

Instead of purchasing pre-packaged trail mix that typically contains chocolate, added sugar or artificial ingredients, I make trail mix out of pistachios, raisins, and (occasionally) pretzel sticks.


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