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.
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.
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.
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!
You know those jeans that you pay $12 for, but halfway through the day they’re so stretched out that you can’t keep them on? Yep, I’ve had those. I’ve also had the ones that can be worn for multiple days without any stretch-out struggle.
My point here is that I’m learning the value of quality. I’m referring to clothes today, but can be applied to many areas of life. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’d rather have fewer, high quality items than a whole closet full of items that are basically disposable. Cause if you think about it, it’s the same cost, just fewer items to keep up with!
Basically, items that are going to get regular use, wear and tear, are good ones to make the investment. For example, jeans, tops, shoes, undergarments, pajamas, sentimental daily wear jewelry, coats.
I do see the value in spending less on items that are not used often, have high possibility of being misplaced or are very trendy. Such items may be sunglasses, formal attire, formal shoes, costume jewelry, any event specific items or swimsuits.
The last point that I want to make here is that, high quality doesn’t always mean expensive. A good place to begin locating these items would be thrift shopping or clearance sections. I’ve found some pretty amazing deals on high quality items in both places. Other times I’ve had to break down and make the investment, but it’s always been worth it!
Now that school is out for the summer, I like to get rid of supplies that are worn out or no longer needed. I got our crayon box out, and was ready to trash a pile of broken ones.
My kids wouldn’t have it. Like most children, they’re into holding on to items that are ACTUALLY trash…. your kids ever do that? I often insist… “no, that’s really trash, we don’t need to keep it”.
I took their advice on this one, and we recycled the crayons into new ones. It was a good fine motor exercise, color sorting and science experience watching them go from solid to liquid, back to solid. We had fun!
Here’s how you do it.
Bunch of old broken crayons, paper peeled off
Silicon form, we used mini cupcake cups
Preheat oven to 350
Break the crayons into small pieces, fitting into the mold. We sorted by color, but multi-color ones are fun too!
Place silicon mold on a cooking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Once all the crayons are melted, remove from oven. Let sit for 30-45 until fully cooled. Pop the new crayons out of the silicon mold.
There ya go, brand new colors and shapes, color away!