Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Now that the kids are home all day, I am sure like me, you are not only having to tend to their schooling needs, but also to their nutritional needs. Moms are accustomed to fixing their kids some sort of breakfast every morning. That can vary from cereal or a frozen breakfast option for some moms, to a four course breakfast for other moms. After the lunches are packed in the lunch boxes and breakfasts are eaten, the kids are off to school and you're off the hook for snacks and lunch, while they are gone. The afternoon rolls around again and the troops come home at some point, at which time they need a snack and dinner. All of us signed up for that, willingly. What we did not sign up for, was feeding and schooling our kids all day, everyday, from home, indefinitely. I have been trying to solve this challenge by at least making the snacks, self-serve at our home. I keep lots of bananas and tangerines out in a fruit bowl on the counter for them to grab when they need a snack. I also keep string cheese and snacking carrots in refrigerator. I try to stay away from packaged snacks throughout the day, such as chips and crackers. But one of my favorite hacks has been my nut bar and water bar. I purchased old-fashioned Ball jars, from Target, and created a really pretty nut bar on our counter. I have peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and dried fruits. The kids have fun going up and creating their own nut mixes for snacks. I like the idea of nuts too because they are so nutritious and filling. If your kids have any nut allergies, you can just put the ones out that are safe for them to eat.
another fun, interactive and nutritious snack is to have the kids pop their own popcorn. I had a cute mini theatre-style machine tucked away in a cabinet that I had not used in a long time. I decided to get it out, order a big jar of popcorn kernels from Target and make it into an activity/snack. The kids love it! Like the nut bar, they do it on their own (pretty much) and it makes snack time in to a fun event.
At our house, my kids only drink water. But I noticed that it was hard to keep track of how much they had been drinking throughout the day. I had the idea to set up a fun water bar for the kids, so that the water would be easily accessible and they wouldn't be asking me every five minutes, to fetch them a cup of water. They each have their own color plastic cup, so they don't get them mixed up. I fill a large plastic water pitcher with filtered water for them to enjoy and more importantly, to help themselves to, throughout the day. If your kids like flavored water, feel free to add sliced lemons, oranges or strawberries. A few sprigs of fresh mint or sliced cucumbers are nice as well.
Our healthy nut bar, which is both attractive to leave out on your counter and user friendly. As you can see, I need to run to the store or refills soon.
This is our simple Water Bar. Each of my four kids has their own color plastic cup, so they won't get mixed up. Everything is plastic, so very kid-friendly.
Miles minding the popcorn machine.