Perhaps I’m the only one, but regardless of what kind of lunch my kids pack they seem to do a poor job of staying focused at lunch time and actually eating their food, so when I pick them up, it’s often to one or more entreaties of “I’m starving! can we get some food?”
I mean, they get out at 3pm, it’s not like it’s half a day removed from when they should be sitting and eating the food we’ve supplied, right?
What happens is that we often end up stopping by the local market and after a particularly memorable afternoon a few weeks ago when each kid basically got a second lunch and it cost almost $40 by the time we were done, I have called a moratorium on these expensive afternoon visits.
Instead, my goal is to always put out some sort of healthy and tasty snack at my house. I’m a fan of fruit, but that’s a bit tricky as one loves oranges while the other is an apple addict and the third? He claims he dislikes all fruit. Middle ground? A fruit salad? Every day? Not so much.
My latest strategy is veggies and a dip. It’s fun, it’s super healthy and, quite frankly, I eat less veggies than I should so it helps me remember to grab a handful to offset my own mid-afternoon hunger pangs. (actually I’m usually more interested in a mid-afternoon siesta than a second lunch, but that’s another story)
So far, the winner has been little carrot sticks and ranch dressing. Which is why it was perfect timing for Hidden Valley to send us a sample bottle of their “Lite” Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. It’s quite clearly the hit of the afternoon snack gang and the fact that it’s lower fat than the regular dressing is a plus, though all of my kids are slim and fit (a strong correlation with minimizing media, but that’s just my two cents)
Interestingly, though, when I have included a little container of dressing and some celery or carrot sticks, it rarely gets eaten as part of their lunch. I have no theory, but have learned to analyze their end-of-day lunchbag to see what works and what doesn’t. I don’t remember being so easily distracted from my lunch when I was a kid but I’m not complaining. Too much. 🙂
Still, whether it’s part of their lunch or a quick snack that literally takes less than 30-seconds to prepare, I’m just glad to see my kids munching down on something healthy rather than grabbing a bag of chips, candy bar or soda!
What’s your preferred post-school snack for your kids? What’s theirs?
Tip: Hidden Valley has a pretty slick Lunch Break for Kids site that’s worth perusing for more lunch and snack ideas. I’ve poked around more than once…
The Hidden Valley® Original Ranch®, dressings & dips has provided me with free product to help with my review, but anything I receive from Hidden Valley does not affect my thoughts on its company or their product.
What a great idea Dave! Teaching kids early to choose healthy snacks builds a foundation they will carry on when they are on their own in college. That little voice on their shoulder as they grab that butterfinger will say… Carrots carrots … What a great role model. Thanks