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On Good Intentions, and Stocking a Fridge With Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Actually Eat
March 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I always went food shopping with the best of intentions.

All those healthy eating tips swirl around, like a million good angels on my shoulder: "Stick to the outside aisles!" "Don't go shopping hungry!" "Eye level is where they put the crappy stuff!"  BUY THOSE TWIX RIGHT THERE, THEY SAY ‘ENRICHED WITH VITAMINS.'" Well, maybe that last one came from the devil on my other shoulder. Point is, I left the store beaming, cart brimming with bags of fresh produce. I felt optimistic, and wholesome, like I did in 1989 when I drank a glass of milk during the "Milk: It Does A Body Good" campaign.

I'd arrive home with grand plans for the abundance of healthy meals and snacks my efforts provided.

A week later, I would wonder what had happened. A crisper full of sad lettuce, withered peppers, and cucumbers all but collapsing in on themselves. No one wanted to touch it, I was pleading with my kids to please, have a wrinkly old pepper, and they were running away from me, directly to the Vitamin Twix. Who could blame them? But where had I gone wrong?

After a few months of this, I realized the problem.



But first, an analogy: when packing for a trip, you don't just throw stuff into the suitcase, and hope for the best. No, you make sure everything is ready for when you pull it out of the suitcase. Otherwise, you'll be a hot mess, and running for the nearest Forever 21, just to find something - ANYHING - other than the disaster you brought with you.

When food shopping, I was kind of throwing stuff into the proverbial suitcase, and hoping for the best. I was doing no preparation, and in so doing, was presenting my family with a fridge that was a hot mess. (The Twix are the Forever 21 of this scenario.) I realized that if I want my family to eat the healthy stuff I bring home, I need to prepare it, and make it appealing, so they don't go tearing off on the other direction.

Here are a few ideas for stocking (and prepping) your fridge with kid-friendly, fun stuff:


See Food -Store in clear resealable containers (Ziploc makes sturdy yet affordable ones) so kids can actually SEE the food.

Dip It - Kids love dipping foods. Hummus, salsa, ketchup...all of these things go a long way toward getting your kids to actually eat their veggies.  I know people don't like creamy dressings, but here's where my whole "balance" thing comes in. If my kids want to dip their carrots in it, bottom line, they're still eating the carrots.

Cut Up As I mentioned, it's not enough to just HAVE the good food in the fridge; you need to make it appealing, and ready to eat. A few minutes of prep up front WORKS. Some ideas:

·         Peppers strips

·         Cucumbers rounds

·         Baby carrots

·         Snap peas

·         Frozen banana rounds

·         Grapes (frozen, or regular!)

·         Cut strawberries

·         "Squeeze" yogurt and cheese sticks (I cut these into cubes)

·         Frozen mango/raspberry/pineapple chunks (Buy prepackaged. No prep, they LAST, and    kids love eating them frozen)

What about you? What are some healthy, ready-to-eat snack ideas you have ready to go in your fridge/freezer?

Replies

  • copperswifey
    March 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    oh yeah forgot about bananas and string cheese :)

  • heathermichelle
    March 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Yogurt, cheese, fruit, veggies.

    I keep apples and peanut butter all the time.

  • MommeeTo4
    March 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM
    Plums, carrot sticks, cheese sticks, go gurt, and fruit cups
  • Kainalu55
    March 16, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    i have yogurt and string cheese.  I need more healthy options

  • MamaBear2cubs
    March 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    We stock up on bananas my kids adore them lol

    Quoting copperswifey:

    oh yeah forgot about bananas and string cheese :)


  • ceciliam
    March 16, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I do this, too:)

    Quoting goddess99:

    I always have a bowl in the fridge of washed apples, oranges. We usually have washed grapes in the fridge, and in the summer, washed and ready to eat berries.


  • aneela
    by aneela
    March 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    we usually have yogurt, fruit of some kind...cheese

  • Madelaine
    March 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    thanks

  • elasmimi
    March 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I am very lucky that my 5 y/o likes most fruits and veggies. I was thinking about getting some ranch dip, but then I thought why? She eats carrots, celery broccoli, and cauliflower raw with no dip. And I haven't met a fruit she didn't love. I do have to do the prep, but it only takes a minute.

  • copperswifey
    March 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    lol mine do too. I figure you can never go wrong with bananas. You can usually get a lot for fairly cheap. If they start to go bad you can freeze them or use them right then to make banana bread or muffins. Yummy! :)

    Quoting MamaBear2cubs:

    We stock up on bananas my kids adore them lol

    Quoting copperswifey:

    oh yeah forgot about bananas and string cheese :)

     


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