Snack Limits

This post was originally intended to be in reference to children. However, it would easily be applied to adults as well. The point is the same for any age group.

Snacks can become quite overwhelming, and in most kids are a nice substitute for replacing their meals. If they snack often, the likelihood of them being hungry when meal time comes is quite rare. Unless, of course, they’re going through a growth spurt or have some other medical condition. Honestly, I can’t blame them, cause snack foods are typically more convenient for on the go, and sometimes tastier than a full meal.

Snacks have never been a priority in our family. My husband and I aren’t big snackers, so its not something we’ve done much of. My kids can sometimes get in the “need a snack” mindset, but I try to quickly combat that with some of these solutions.

  1. Offer filling and nutritious meals. We don’t offer snacks in between meals, unless they have eaten their entire meal. If so, they are free to pick a fruit or vegetable for an in between meal snack. I do not allow for snacking if they chose not to eat at mealtime.
  2. Proper hydration is huge. My kids have a water bottle that I like to keep full at all times. They are in an easy to reach place, so that they have access to water at any time. Many times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. Same for kids, water most times will fill that “maybe hungry” tummy and curb the craving to snack.
  3. Snacks aren’t boredom solutions. I try not to use food as an activity or a pacifier when my kids need a distraction. I understand, certain circumstances and ages of children, it’s possibly necessary for a short season. I try to avoid this whenever possible as a habit though. Food can easily become our entertainment or comfort. These aren’t always healthy habits to set for lifetime practices.

If you want to begin changing snack routines in your family, I would suggest taking one of these solutions at a time. Pick one, and begin enforcing it for a few weeks. Then, once your family has become accustomed to that one, begin enforcing another, and then another, in time. I would NOT suggest attempting all of these at once with your family. I’d imagine you’d have some cranky kids and frustrated parents. No body wants either of those, and your going for a long-term solution, not a quick fix!

How I Became a Morning Person

Yep, that’s right, I think I’ve made it to “Morning Person” status. I have NEVER in my life been a morning person, most people in my life can attest to that. Buuuuuut…. I’ve changed my ways. It’s totally worth it, makes my whole day 1000 times better and I never want to go back. Really!

So, there’s hope for you too. Here’s a few routines I’ve gotten into, to make the change.

1. Go to bed earlier: Makes sense, right. Depends on your desired wake time, and how much sleep your body requires, but mine prefers a solid 8 hours. I go to bed around 9:30PM and wake around 5AM.

2. Develop morning routine: Consider goals that you’d like to accomplish. Maybe those ones that you didn’t think you had time for in the day. I start off every morning with a workout class, come home to hot coffee, Bible time & shower. The kids are up and ready to go by the then. I’ve already had a head start, so it all runs much smoother. This has been KEY to my success!

3. Just get up: I know it’s hard, and the struggle is real! But once your out of bed and get going, you forget about that cozy spot. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Your body adjusts and it becomes natural.

Go ahead, start calling yourself a “Morning Person”, even before you’ve arrived. I surely do, count every morning as a win!

Summer Outings with Kids

With four littles, it’s surprising that I haven’t felt the need to make a summer plan in years past. Honestly, I never saw a need for it. However, my school age littles aren’t so little anymore, and thrive in a more structured environment.

I had no idea what our plans looked like for the summer until this week. I knew that we could not stay home every day, and enjoy our time together, day in and day out.

My goal is to leave the house once a day on every typical weekday. These plans aren’t in stone and easily flexible if something comes up. However, knowing that we have the option is very nice. I also wanted keep activities free or cheap. Just cause’ it’s summer doesn’t mean money grows on trees.

Here’s what I’ve come up with…

Monday: Library Day, we signed up for the summer reading program and plan to check out new books each week. Some easy readers for the kids and chapter books for read-alouds. Computer time, games and story time are also available at our location, so we plan to utilize all of those.

Tuesday: Playdate with friends. It’s really important for our kids to continue fellowship with their friends, even when they aren’t in school.

Wednesday: Picnic Lunch with Daddy. Mid-week is a good time to meet at a park near his office for some mid-day QT. We’ll also take advantage of the AMC Movie Camp. They offer mid-day replays of kid movies for $4, includes movie and kids snack pack!

Thursday: Breakfast with Nina. My mom does work, but is off on Thursday, so we’ve have a standing breakfast reservation each week with her.

Friday: Local Attractions; We have season passes to Grant’s Farm, so we spend most of our Friday nights there, with cousins. They have a tram ride, live music, animals and two free beers for parents! When we don’t go there, we’ll utilize the many other attractions such as our Zoo, Science Center, Magic House or Botanical Gardens during that day.

Obviously this agenda is subject to change, but it works for our family. I love the idea of a plan. So the summer doesn’t fly right past us, without enjoying all of the fullness and freedom it has to offer.