empowering your family one bite at a time

The Snack Drawer

I talk about my snack drawer but I've never actually shared this in written form. If the kids are little, what is in it will change. As a nutritionist I want my children to learn how to make quality snack choices. Having them help prep the snacks, buy the snacks and see what a quality choice is will help them. As they age, you want them to have the tools and memories of what this means. I continue to teach my 7 and 8 year old, 'does this keep me strong and healthy?' I don't want to give too much power to food by calling it 'bad' or (eeekk) 'makes me fat'.

Fresh Snack Drawer:
I have two drawers that the entire family uses. One is in the bottom of my fridge. I have cut up carrots, celery, broccoli or whatever else we have prepped for the week. I also include little containers of vegan, homemade 'ranch' dressing, hummus, homemade cereal bars, cubed fruit, and washed fruit. When we shop I'll ask them, what sounds good for the fresh snack drawer? They help me pick, prep and stock. I make it simple and when they come to me and whine they are hungry, I'll tell them to go get something out of the fresh snack drawer. Most of the time they just go do it. They typically want to go to the pantry snack drawer and I'll toss the reminder over my shoulder to 'remember the fresh drawer, please.'

Pantry Snack Drawer:

I have almond butter, granola, gluten free pretzels, whole grain gluten free crackers in different small containers. Packages of sea weed, fruit leather, nuts, seeds, and what ever else they have asked for that meets my approval.

I don't care how much or how often they eat from these drawers because I know they are getting a nutritious well rounded snack. I don't typically refill it until most of it is gone because I know it's balanced and I don't want just apples and fruit leather going into the kids.

The drawers serve a three purposes. 1. What a child helps to create they will be interested in. 2. They don't need me for every little meal. 3. They learn to nourish themselves for life.

I didn't grow up with quality eating habits. For years my idea of a snack was pickle and a pepsi. If you think about how you eat, it's a reflection of your childhood. It's hard to break those habits. I'm in year 7 and I still struggle to stop, think, and breath. Food is an amazing part of our culture. I want to teach my children be relaxed, have joy and eating a cookie is so not a big deal.

I also teach them and practice the habit of thinking back over the course of our day, you may have to get off of the pasta and bread train and eat a salad. I teach them, 'just because you can doesn't mean you should' and 'think about what we've eaten today. We had a waffle for breakfast and pizza for lunch, it's time to enjoy fresher food now.'

It's been a long week and my fridge snack drawer is dismal, so no pic. Here is a picture of my friend Katie's drawer..

Here is my drawer below.

Oh my gosh, there is a stick in my drawer that I just noticed and can't retake the pic! I asked the kids why and they told me it's 'a hobo stick'. They said they take the towel wrapped snack outside, held up with a stick and this stick works the best. Seriously! I laughed so hard and I have no idea how long it has been in there. I've seen a rock in my fridge and a pair of shorts in my freezer lately also :)

You could use a box, a basket, a shelf. Just do it. Enjoy the ideas!

What else would you put in the snack drawers??

Power to the family!

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