Friday, October 17, 2008
I can no longer shop happily.
Seriously, I can't. I trying to cut back on sugar as my kids' main source of caloric intake, especially for snacks, and it's making shopping hard, and scary.
I am inspired by my mother's comments about all the foods in our house being good foods, so that it was okay for us kids to snack between school and dinner. (This isn't entirely true. I do remember Stew Leonard's cookies and the occasional hard-won box of brownie mix or pop-tarts. )
But for the most part, it's true; we had very few snack foods or premade sweets. My brother and sister and I regularly made whatever we wanted for afterschool snacks, but it was usually real food.
(Of course I loved going to friends' houses, where the cupboards overflowed with Chips Ahoys and Snackwells and Yoo-Hoo's. )
But I'm not going to raise my kids that way, and I'm already freaked out by how dependent we are on Stonyfield Farms Yogurt Squeezers, juice boxes, and weird things like fruit ropes. It's all organic, so it must be good, right? If you're okay with ice cream-level portions of sugar in every snack and meal, sure. I guess so.
So the other day, as I cruised the aisles, I held on to the rudder, hard. I looked over our usual suspects, all those junky things that get my kids through lunch with at least a few calories in their bellies, and appease them afterschool when they are bearishly hungry and eager for a sugary snack. I picked them up, looked at them, and put them down.
I put down the Squeezers and walked away quickly. Because: what if we just didn't buy them? Will my daughter starve? Or will she discover that nuts are good?
I looked at the fruit leather ropes. Is there any nutritional purpose to those things? Or do they just take up precious lunch-eating minutes? The info box confirmed my suspicions that there is virtually nothing in there but sugar. I walked away. Without these will they go back to peanut butter and jelly as a sweet snack?
I walked away from the organic multigrain granola bars that in any other era or culture would be considered candy. Will they turn to cheese and crackers? Will I remember to throw cheese and crackers into my purse as we run out the door?
I loaded up on nuts, cheese and crackers, honeycrisp apples and ... and ... that's kind of it. What else do you give hungry kids? My mind drew a blank. That's our current snack list, and I was unable to go further.
Already I have been meeting my kids at afterschool pickup with a honeycrisp apple, our current favorite. (Them: "Is that a honeycrisp? Yay! Can I have it?"). Hungry and thirsty, they devour them. amd no longer beg to visit the ice cream truck.
Afterschool there are cheese and crackers, more apples, frozen blueberries and sometimes leftovers from the night before, or a whole turkey sandwich if the situatin is drastic. Is it the change in seasons? They are famished lately. And I am running short on ideas.
What do you all feed your kids afterschool? I need snack ideas!