I have been seeing beautiful snack boxes, lunch boxes, kids bento boxes, and ideas for snack stations around the web lately. I guess with kids home for the Summer everyone is wondering how to feed the kiddos. Some of the station look great but having food available to Little all the time is not something I wanted.
Here is why and what I am doing instead. I took this wonderful class on feeding your toddler. It was back before we were feeding Little any solids. They said that it is the parents responsibility to pick where and when the child eats and which types of food will be offered, but it is the child’s responsibility to choose how much of which foods they want to eat.The class also emphasized giving children options of 3 to 5 foods at each meal. Meals should be about every two hours, or breakfast lunch and dinner with a morning snack and an afternoon snack. Meals should also be at the table sitting down and focusing on food. Ok all of that sound great but how do you have 3-5 different options 5 times a day? I mean I love to cook but I don’t want to be tied to my kitchen. Make a meal, have a meal, clean up and then get ready to do it again? Ah and then I saw the snack boxes around the web.
Ah ha! so this is what we are doing now. The above picture is Little’s snack box. Starting in the upper left hand corner that is a whole avocado with lemon and smoked salt, jack cheese, trail mix, tj’s Ritz like crackers, some cherry tomatoes, a plum and in the middle some carrot sticks in a shot glass with dressing at the bottom. I make this in the morning now. This is her box for the whole day. She can eat anything she wants out of it at her morning snack or her afternoon snack. If she eats say all the avocado in the morning then there is none to be had later.
So far so good. She is getting the hang of it and I don’t feel trapped in my kitchen. At snack time she sits at the table and I bring her the box, she eats what she wants and then either tells me she is all done, or some days starts to play with her food without eating any, which tells me she is all done and so I put the box back in the fridge until the next snack and we move on to the next activity. Frankly I think I should make one for me too every morning. What do you do to keep your family fed? What tips or tricks do you have to share? I would love to hear any and all.