The Lazy Mama’s Guide to Healthy(er) Snacking

March 18, 2009

Posted on Wednesday~March 18, 2009

I would like to say that I feed my kids three perfectly balanced meals a day, but that would be a big fat lie.

I’d also like to say that they never have any unhealthy snacks, but that would be an even bigger and fatter lie. (No one likes a liar.)

But I will say that I try. Eating well is something that’s important to me. Part of my Mama Manifesto, if you will.

The problem with staying on top of eating healthy is that it’s lots and lots of work, and I can be lots and lots of lazy. So I’ve come up with a few things that are standard, things I always have around the house that I consider healthy alternatives for the things kids love. (Please don’t tell me they aren’t healthy, or I’ll be crushed–I know they’re at least more healthy than really unhealthy alternatives, so I’m going to believe they’re totally healthy, thank you.)

(Before I forget, something that works well for us is always having a big bowl of fruit on the table. The boys can get the sweet snack themselves by climbing on a chair, they think that’s cool, and most kids do go for what’s easiest and closest. This is by no means a new mothering trick, but sometimes we old dogs forget even the old tricks. We’re busy.)

One thing I have on hand for when the ache of the sweet tooth cries are sugar free Life Savers. Miles thinks they’re cooler than anything in the whole world. (besides Spiderman, but he isn’t even real.) Most of the time, just one will satisfy the cry of his heart for sugar, but sometimes it takes two or three. (See? Still not lying.) Even though these are not actually healthy, I’m certain they are more healthy than dum dums or blow pops.

Now let’s talk about fruit snacks. We all know that fruit snacks are just plain nasty. They rank right up there with Jell-O. They are a non-food and are packed with crappity crap that isn’t good for a person. (But I still buy them once and a while because they work wonders in keeping kids happy and quiet.) For the most part, what I buy instead of regular character-shaped fruit snacks are these:Florida’s Natural fruit juice nuggets. The boys luuuurve them, and since they aren’t shaped like Spongebob and they don’t have a bunch of artificial flavors and colors, I can feel good about them eating five bags per day. They are also not terribly expensive, especially if you buy them in bulk.

(I wish I was getting paid for these amazing reviews, but unfortunately I’m not.)

Lastly, I try to avoid regular juice boxes and such by keeping Honest Kids organic thirst quenchers around. I’m a big fan of the Honest company. (Because, like I said, no one likes a liar.)
Well, I think that’s sufficient information for today. People only like a post about snacks if it’s not super long. Maybe next week I’ll talk about how we’re only about half organic here at our house and I’m perfectly OK with that.

P.S. Today is Jodi Picoult day!!! My Aunt and I are off to Borders to try to shake her hand and have her sign stuff and take a picture and tape an interview and do a little dance…
(OK, I’m not even going to ask for those last two, but I’m tempted.)

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Corey March 18, 2009 at 8:19 am

DOOD. Are you trying to tell me that Froot Snacks are not actually Fruit? I am crushed.

I am pretty sure I’m not getting Mother of the Year 2009, so I’ll confess that with 5-6 kids, as long as mine are getting fed SOMETHING 3 times a day and SOME kind of snack, I check the box and give myself a big pat on the back.


Heather of the EO March 18, 2009 at 8:23 am

Oh Corey, if I had five or six kids I’d probably forget to feed them all-together. I’ll give you a pat on the back too! (:

Keyona March 18, 2009 at 8:27 am

Hey, at least they are eating. I’d give anything for Lael just to eat 1 meal nowdays with her being sick. Seriously though, feeding them healthy is hard.

Oh! I love Jodi Picoult too. Not in a stalkish way but I do love her!

Heather of the EO March 18, 2009 at 8:30 am


And Miss Keyona, are you calling me a Picoult stalker?

Fine. You’re right. :)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity March 18, 2009 at 8:57 am

I am SO not a healthy mom, but I’ve been trying to make some changes. We recently found Annie’s organic graham bunny snacks (like goldfish and teddy grahams) and Kashi TLC cereal bars, and fruit leather, all at Costco. The kids really like them and the ingredients lists are all things that I’ve heard of and could use in a recipe if I ever decided to make it myself (NEVER going to happen).

Jami March 18, 2009 at 8:58 am

I’ll have to look into those Honest Kids. The problem we have with snacks of any stripe is that people blow through them the day we buy them. I need to get a big safe and then maybe we can get them to last a day or two.

C March 18, 2009 at 9:05 am

I’ll give you $100.00 if you ask Jodi to do a dance for you.

Honest. I’ll walk on over and drop it off… :)~

((Dare ya!))
xo, crock

Jillene March 18, 2009 at 9:18 am

I love this post. Getting kids to eat healthy is a job all on it’s own. We also like Fruit Leather around here–it’s great!!

Heidi Ashworth March 18, 2009 at 9:24 am

You are doing waaayyyyy better than me! Right now I am doing the best I can to force one of three kinds of sugary cereal down the LG’s throat. He’s having none of it. I guess he will go to school hungry (since he refused toast and bacon, as well–what’s up with that?)

pam March 18, 2009 at 9:27 am

I’m all for real snacks that keep ’em happy. If they’re sort of healthy, that’s a bonus.

And Jodi Picoult–LOVE her stuff! Tell us all about it!

LisAway March 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

Guess what? I think this was an extremely entertaining post, even though I have no access to the products mentioned (except the fruit in a bowl. They have that in Poland).

I especially liked this line, “People only like a post about snacks if it’s not super long.” Well and a bunch of other ones throughout the post. Thanks for that.

Kristina P. March 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

Hmmmmm. I just had some malt balls for breakfast. I’m am the pinnacle of health.

Annette Lyon March 18, 2009 at 10:11 am

Jodi Piccoult day should be national holiday or something.

She’s coming here in about a week! Woot!

Muthering Heights March 18, 2009 at 10:32 am

I like the bowl of fruit idea…my kids would love that!

Jen March 18, 2009 at 11:28 am

Thanks for the product ideas. I try and feed my kids healthy stuff too but sometimes the bad stuff just sneaks in but everything in moderation, right?

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles March 18, 2009 at 11:55 am

Great ideas! Really. Because I need to do better in this area.

a Tonggu Momma March 18, 2009 at 11:55 am

Jodi was in my neck of the woods last week. And I was too sick to go. My good friend discombobulated went without me… BETRAYAL. She has been demoted in my life to so-so friend now. Hee hee.

Debbie March 18, 2009 at 11:57 am

Tell Jodi I love her – but not in a creepy, stalkerish, weird way. But, do bring me a lock of her hair if you can.

That Girl in Brazil March 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Like LisAway, all I got is fruit-in-a-bowl as well.

But a quickie (healthy!) snack is making “juicies.” Blend some fresh juice and put into long plastic squeeze tubes (you can buy a hundred for a buck or two). Put in the freezer and voila! Healthy snack.

Corinne March 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I’m always on the look out for healthier snacks for my picky eater… I’ll have to try those Florida Naturals fruit snacks :) thanks!

Elizabeth March 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm

These are good ideas, especially the Life Savers. My kids are candy fiends!
I have a hard time finding snacks b/c there’s not much out there that is good for them, at least not that is affordable. The kids don’t get too excited about hummus, you know?

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorites. I wonder what goes on in that mind of hers sometimes.

LexiconLuvr March 18, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I’m a big fan of the Honest company. (Because, like I said, no one likes a liar.)

That’s for that great bit of cleverishness. =]

Francesca March 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I have a NUTRIGRAIN bar for breakfast and kid myself that that is being healthy. I then let Maxi have bites of it and double kid myself that he’s being healthy.
I then have toast with butter and jam and tell mysellf that is also healthy. hmmmm… need i go on?
i have been saying that i need to sort out my diet. your post has spurred me on. soon as i am well again i will.
ps let us know how it went with Jodi P.

Lee of MWOB March 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm

That was awesome and incredibly informative!! I need to check out those healthy fruit snacks because uh, I’m giving my kids Hello Kitty and Princess fruit snacks and the like. Oh no……

Kazzy March 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

When my kids were little and we lived in LA I would fill little ziploc bags with raisins, crackers, etc and put them in the bottom kitchen drawer where they could each grab a couple of bags a day on their own. It was liberating for me along with being healthy.

BoufMom9 March 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm

OMGosh! How funny you posted pics of those two items! We just discovered those juice boxes for the kids and I have a case of them in the pantry and I also just bought a box of the nuggets as well for their lunchboxes. LOL

There are really a lot of decent snacks out there. You just have to know where to look :)

Nina March 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I sware if my son even thinks it is healthy it is gross and he doesn’t like it. Drives me nuts!!!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting March 19, 2009 at 11:32 am

I love the Honest brand too. I’m trying to be healthier, too, and instead, by eliminating Splenda, I’m just gaining weight now. Ugh :(

Angie Goodloe March 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

Have you tried Stretch Island Fruit leather? These are real fruit- when I worked at an herbal apothecary these would sell out! Kids and adults love them- they are actual dried fruit- been around forever- not those fake jello things:) Perfect for on the go

Jessica March 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

We do those fruit snacks too! You’re right, it takes a lot of energy . . . we do good for a while and then have days when I don’t even want to think about how much sugar they’ve just consumed!

Growin' with it! March 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm

i am such a FAILURE when it comes to limiting sweets w/ myself and my kids. it all goes back to my food allergies growing up and feeling like i need to make up for all those lost years w/o sugar!

jubilee March 20, 2009 at 11:33 am

I’m gonna have to check out those nugget thingies. Sounds better than the Princess and John Deere gummies that my children beg for. Ick.

And, please don’t hate, but who is Jodi? Do I need to Google her? I feel like I am missing out.

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