At my house, during summer break, it seems there is a constant feeding frenzy. Someone is always hungry, someone is always “starving”. I don’t know where the food goes, but it seems like 2/3 of my day I’m spending making food for someone.
You don’t have to get stuck in the rut of constantly feeding your kids. Instead, give them the task of making their own snacks and meals from time to time. Buy foods that are easy to manage with “mom approved” health benefits and you’re kids will be spending time coming up with fun snacks they are proud to say they made themselves!
Some food ideas your kids will have fun making themselves
Make your own Lunchables – cut meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies and store in separate containers. Every day can be a new lunch building adventure as your child decides which items they want to include AND they’ll have fun building their own snack.
Easy microwave meals – not all kids are old enough to manage the stove without supervision, but the microwave is pretty simple once they know how to use it. My almost 5 year old can make her own popcorn, there’s a popcorn specific button, but she feels like a popcorn rock star making it herself! Put together pre-made microwave meals with a time taped to the lid, ready to pop in the microwave and enjoy.
Snack mixes – mix together cereals, dried fruits and nuts to create your own snack and trail mixes. Your kids will love helping you put these together and then you can store in individual snack sized bags so they can grab and go whenever they’d like.
Smoothies – who doesn’t like a smoothie? You can make your own yogurt smoothie mixes by freezing yogurt in an ice cube tray and then placing the frozen chunks of yogurt in bags with frozen fruits and other ingredients, in ready to use bags. Your kids can then add the contents of a single bag to the blender, add the juice and blend… all on their own!
Science and Snacks – let your kids do a little experimenting with food and fun this summer. Popsicles are a great place to start. Does fruit juice freeze as fast as a yogurt smoothie in a popsicle mold? How does lemonade taste as a popsicle vs orange juice? What happens if you mix 5 kool-aid flavors together? Many fruits turn into fun frozen snacks all by themselves. Try putting grapes or bananas in the freezer for a refreshing healthy treat the kids will love! Frozen grape pops are a favorite of ours!
In our house we have a “snack drawer” where we put all our snack foods such as granola bars, snack mixes, etc. The kids (and their friends) know where this is and know the limits. If you show your kids how to do something, you might be surprised how much they will do themselves.