January 1, 2011

I'm a broken record

About two years ago we decided that we weren't going to "do snacks" anymore.  I didn't feel good about feeding them crackers and cookies and other processed snack foods.  And the cost added up quickly with four boys who would eat an entire box of crackers in one sitting and STILL be hungry.

So we made a "fruit" rule.  If they are hungry they can always have fruit. Any time of the day.  Fruit is the answer.  You wake up early in the morning, and you're hungry before breakfast, have some fruit.  You want a snack before lunch?  Have some fruit.  Feeling hungry around 3pm?  Have some fruit.  Going to bed and want to top off the tank?  Have some fruit.  I figured if they ate fruit and were too full to eat a good lunch, oh well.  They got full on fruit. 

For TWO YEARS when they say they're hungry I tell them to eat fruit.  AND THEY STILL KEEP ASKING. 
It's like they're hoping I'll have a fit of insanity and say,
"Oh, you're hungry?  Eat this bag of Doritos then have a gallon of ice cream."

You can tell which of my kids were little when this started.  The 10-yr-olds fight me the most on fruit and one will just walk away and eat nothing (which I think means he wasn't really hungry in the first place, just looking for a sugar fix).  The 7-yr-old eats fruit fairly well.  The 4-y-old eats mainly fruit (and all varieties) and we have to work really hard to get him to eat anything else.

This is how I handle The Stocking of the Fruit -

fruit bowl filled with apples and pears - always
clementines or mandarin oranges - if they don't cost a fortune
bananas - always - usually 3 bunches a week
grapes - whichever color has a good price that week
baby carrots - it's not a fruit, but the same principle applies
persimmons - depends on price
pineapple - cut into chunks, once or twice a month
watermelon (or other melons) - once or twice a month
berries - whenever I can get a good price
lettuce & spinach - they know how to make their own salads and they do (don't fight me on the "it's a vegetable thing" - it still counts in the Have Some Fruit campaign)

I have been providing unsweetened applesauce, but have decided to stop that.  I'm going to teach them how to make applesauce in the blender instead.  How could they possibly resist the power of the Blendtec?

Now, what fruits or easy-to-serve vegetables am I missing??????


  1. Brilliant. I really need to do this in my house too.

  2. We have the same snack policy at our house. The only things we add to your list are dried fruits (apples, apricots, mangoes) and nuts (almonds and peanuts, usually). The latest favorite is peanuts roasted in their shells. We have to put them up high because our two year olds go nuts with them! No pun intended! =)

  3. We have the same snack rule at our house, too! Cherry tomatoes are a constant in the summer.

  4. Cherry tomatoes, celery, raw broccoli, pea pods. You can also freeze berries or grapes for a cool snack.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions! We actually have a tomato allergy here so can't do raw tomatoes, but they do LOVE sugar snap peas. They think all broccoli should be covered with cheese sauce...sigh. And celery can only be eaten if cooked to mush in a soup. I still have some work to do, don't I? And yes, nuts!

  6. mm yes.... this is such a good way to do it!! We do the same thing.... but I also include having on hand.... celery with pb,and raisens.... I have also taught the kids how to make their own fruit smoothie .. of course this is one of those things were there is usually enough for everyone!! hehehe...

    Another thing I do that works... is water drinking.... they are only allowed one glass of soda...(if we have it) with a meal.... they are allowed to have juice boxes with lunch... and have to have at least 2 glasses of water.... sometimes.. I tell me 5 yr old... go drink some water... and if your STILL hungry... then I will make you more... lol.. it works sometimes... =) Keep up the good work!

  7. We have been doing this for years too. My kids will pick apples over candy or cake most times, they could live on them and be content. We also like celery and sliced cucumbers. Sometimes I let them put a dab of peanut butter in the celery and raisins on top to make "bugs on a log". My 2 littlest ones like to eat sliced raw bell peppers too. If I'm slicing them for a meal I usually pull out twice as much as the recipe calls for because I know they'll eat them while I prepare dinner (which I'm totally fine with).

  8. carrots are the only veggie we can do without ranch dressing *sigh*, but we do the fruit too. The things I've found that helps the most is protein: nuts, peanut/almond butter, cheese, or even just a glass of milk.
    I feel your pain. Good luck!

  9. I've found the best way for my kids to stop asking for food is to allow them one snack for the morning and one snack for the afternoon (we have fruit in the morning and cake or cookies in the afternoon). They are allowed to have it anytime eg morning snack anytime between breakfast and lunch and afternoon snack anytime between lunch and tea. This way they can have it when they are hungry and it teaches them that we don't have an endless supply of food to eat all day. Best of all, they have stopped asking for food because they know if they eat their snack there is no more.

  10. We like all of the things you mentioned, Also, peaches and nectarines are a big hit around my house during the summer. Plus, we like plums, cherries if they're on sale, and olives. My oldest daughter likes jicama, and most of my children love ruby red grapefruit. My kids get upset when they ask for a snack and I tell them to eat fruit, but I think they'd do a lot better if I quit providing other snacks.

  11. I love that idea!! Starting tomorrow I'm going to hear a lot of whining...and complaining. And by the way, post some recipe on the dishes blog, I'm tired of being the only poster. :)