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Managing Monday’s: Snack Attack

Managing Monday’s: Snack Attack

“Mom, there is nothing to eat in this house” this wonderful refrain is something I hear often. I have learned through the years that it should be translated to “Mom there is nothing easy and pre made for me to grab to eat without any effort on my part other than opening the bag, box, or container it came in.

Pre made snacks are in general not very healthy, and tend to be expensive. I go back and forth all the time with my self countering the ease, over the expense, and the nutritional value. I have not found the perfect solution to this and until we can get our food like the Jetson’s this will always be a dilemma. I have however over the years found a few tricks that help.

Buying in bulk at Costco or other warehouse stores can be cost-effective, but is generally labor intensive to make it work. I have found if I buy almonds(or other nuts) in the large bags, and Ritz, cheese, or fish crackers in the huge boxes, they are significantly less expensive. The labor comes in when I get home, and need to put smaller quantities in to sandwich bags. This actually does not take too long and I do not end up with a large open bag of that will go stale. You can save money on the pre packaged granola bars and fruit snacks but I have found they often have one kind my kids won’t eat and then it is wasted. If I watch for sales these items are cheaper at a regular grocery store.

The most expensive convenience snack that I am willing to splurge on is the little portion packages of peanut butter. Trying to send peanut butter for apples or crackers is a total pain, and this is my favorite thing they have come up with in recent years. I can cut up an apple, throw in some Ritz crackers and one of the peanut butter packs and they are set. I will also splurge on the pre cut apples in the bags because I want my kids to eat fruit and this seems to be something they are willing to grab as long as they do not have to cut the apple themselves.

Mini carrots are always a winner but I find I need to throw in an ice-cube with them so they do not dry out and look old and sad. My kids love fruit but as with everything else it takes too much time to peel an orange, or cut up a kiwi. This makes berries and grapes ideal for easy snack attacks. The best snack for large groups is popcorn. Its cheap, its easy, and it satisfies both the need for crunch and salt.

There are times when convenience always wins over cost, and times when going the extra step is worth the nutritional result. I am still trying to find the balance and maybe I will by the time the grand children come over and tell me “Gramma, there is nothing to eat in this house!”

Your secrets, tricks and idea’s are always welcome!

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My favorite snacks are yogurt, fruit (berries of any kind, bananas, or pre-cut fruit from trader joes), trader joe’s chedder cheese popcorn – though i can go through a whole bag way too fast, and trail mix of any kind – though usually it involves variou nuts and dried fruits.

Comment by Mariah Johnson




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