It’s exhausting feeding people, isn’t it? How many hours of our day are spent thinking about that stuff? Too many, if you ask me!
Well, I used to be one of those people that strictly ate three meals a day and tried to avoid snacking as much as possible. Between those meals though, I found I felt spacy, disoriented and even – every once in a while – a little worried about passing out in the afternoons.
That was, until a quick trip to the doctor and a 24-hour fasting blood test showed that I had something called hypoglycemia, a clinical syndrome that results from low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar, especially at the dips I was experiencing, can really affect your body and your mood. You know the word, hangry? Yeah, hypoglycemic tend to take that feeling to a whole new level.
I learned to change my eating habits to keep my blood sugar steady throughout the day, eating smaller meals more often — and it made an incredible difference in how I feel and my kids, honestly, seem to find the same benefits I do.
Preparing the right kinds of snacks takes a little preparation at the beginning of the week, but we reap the rewards all week long. Imagine if you had containers of snacks prepared for your entire week that you could grab-and-go for your kids as an afterschool snack or for a quick pick-me-up while out running your errands. Wouldn’t that make an incredible difference in your eating habits and routines? Here are some things we have tried with good success in our home. Try them for yourself and see if snacking helps your family too.
Make Snack Containers for the Week
If you visit your local supermarket, you have probably seen prepared snack containers in the deli sections of your store. Take a quick photo of what they are offering and DIY it at home.
Each week I fill stackable containers with a healthy dose of protein thanks to Land O’Frost lunchmeat, diced cheese and almonds. My kids love Premium Honey Ham or Premium Brown Sugar Ham. You can round these out with your favorite veggies or a piece of fruit to embrace all the food groups.
After a little trial and error, I have found cupcake liners are a great way to keep your foods from getting soggy. Plus it adds a little fun color that makes the kiddies smile.
Make a Mobile Snack Station
Bar carts are all the rage right now and are the perfect vehicle for creating a mobile snack station for your whole family. Use baskets or small metal pails and fill them with healthy snack options that your kids can choose from. We designate one basket for granola bars/energy bars, one for bananas, one for apples, one for cracker packages, one for nuts/trail mixes, and one for beef jerky. To encourage a healthy accompaniment, consider purchasing flavored waters in lieu of juices, for another great grab-and-go option to display on a shelf in your cart.
This is also a great item to have stocked in the summer months when kids seem to need refueling more often after playing outside. Just park it outside to be the coolest neighborhood mom on the block!
Put Mason Jars to Work
Remember when jarred foods were the hottest item on Pinterest? Yeah, I still think they are pretty great. I have become a big fan of jars over the years and how easy and convenient they are for snacks. Jars are perfectly portable for a spontaneous picnic with the kids or a fun treat to tuck in your purse while watching your kiddos play another agonizingly long game of soccer. #helpme
Try coming up with a jar snack each week that can keep you fueled throughout the day. Some of my favorites are trail mixes, yogurt parfaits, freshly cut veggies with hummus on the bottom, quinoa salads, overnight oatmeal or roasted chickpeas.
Designate a Snack Chef for the Week
Consider designating someone else in your family to be the snack chef of the week – especially if you have big kids. Send them on a Pinterest scavenger hunt for snack creations and have them assemble the family’s snacks for the week. You can even make a one-on-one grocery trip date out of it. They’ll learn a valuable skill that they’ll need when they leave the nest and gives them a chance to show off their own creativity in the kitchen.