My kids are starting to drive me crazy with the “I’m hungry” all the time. I had two different friends suggest designating a snack drawer in my refrigerator to fill with snacks my kids can help themselves to, that I refill daily with healthy snacks. I thought this was a great idea.
It took me awhile to get around to implementing, but today I launched Project Independent Snacker.
I showed the kids their baskets, taught Thomas that his name started with the letter T, and explained the basket would be filled everyday with snacks they could eat whenever they want without asking me first. BUT – and I made sure to repeat myself several times – when the basket is empty, there will be no more snacks.
They were like yeah, yeah, sure, gimme that juice box.
I’m sure it will take a few days for them to get over gorging themselves on free food, and I will also have to gauge how much snacking they really need to do during the day. I may have to add or take away the quantity of food.
In this basket is a cheese … thing – I’m not sure what you call it since it’s not a stick. But Ruthie doesn’t like white cheese so I had to improvise – an apple, a juice box, a container of trail mix, and a container of carrots with hummus. Other snacks I have for variety include apple sauce cups, little boxes of raisins, granola bars, crackers, and celery with peanut butter. I’m sure I’ll think of more, but that’s actually probably enough variety.
It felt weird buying all those individually packaged snacks, though. I don’t normally do that, and I’m sure the Earth will haunt me in my dreams tonight and whisper wickedly, “YOUR TRASH IS SUFFOCATING ME!” But for now that’s how I needed to start this thing off – I needed it to be easy so I would finally do it. Once I get into a groove with it I’ll go back to buying bulk and put stuff in containers.
I’m hoping this routine will stick, unlike that stupid sticker chart I made. That lasted, like, five days because Ruthie is so not motivated by stickers.
She’s motivated by watching me melt down into a temper tantrum.