NO SNACKING IN OUR LARGE FAMILY
is part of the Write 31 2017 Challenge.
Read 31 Days of Life in a Large Homeschooling Family for more posts.
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Just like the idea that juice and Ribena are a good healthy idea (see Water: the Beverage of Choice in Our Large Family), I used to think kids needed snacks all day long. Well, they may when they are very young but snacks are not necessary as they grow up.
Snacking tends to become a habit which isn’t really healthy in the long run.Our bodies get conditioned to expect food every 2 – 3 hours. How is that healthy?
Snack times became stressful
In those foolish days, I would offer a snack when the toddler woke up from his nap to “help” him wake up. Yes, don’t roll your eyes at me. I was not that clued into health those days.
But snack time always stressed me because obviously I did not want to offer the usual snack foods which were almost always sugary in nature. Chips, biscuits, chocolate, cake, muffins. Even fruits are sweet. They all digest and convert into sugar in our bodies.
Which meant that I had to go bake/make or find healthier versions of junk food. That meant I had to spend time making them or spend a lot more to buy them.
Getting off the snack train – cold turkey
But I couldn’t seem to get off the snack train. So for years, I would alternate between offering “healthy” snacks with rubbish “food” when I got tired of baking.
No snacking. Period.
And then one day I decided that I should just stop offering snacks. Of course, the little people were not happy. But I stuck to my guns.
To help us adjust, I delayed lunch and brought dinner forward. Portions for both meals were increased slightly in the transition period. Soon, snacking became a thing of the past.
No snacking, ever?
No, we did not stop snacking totally. Once in a while it would be offered but it no longer a regular part of life. We became a family that ate 3 meals a day and snacking although always welcomed became an occasional treat.
Is your belly your god?
And this is exactly how I want us to live. Life is more than food. Food is to be enjoyed. But when one is automatically (and mindlessly) grazing all day long, the body does not get to rest.
Besides, food should not be in our minds every 2 to 3 hours. We should not be ruled by our stomachs. The Bible does warn us to be careful that our bellies do not become our gods, right?
Benefits of no snacking
Besides saving our grocery budget for real food, cutting out snacking also meat less mess in the house. Yes, the children eat at the dining table but snacks always creates more mess than normal food. And therefore someone has to be tasked to clean up after that. And best of all, I no longer have to think of one more “meal” to provide for the children.
I know this is not a popular opinion but this is how I prefer our large family to live. How does your family manage the snack train? Do you offer snacks to your family on a regular basis? Share with us!
For more on the pros and cons of snacking, read:
1. Do Kids Need to Snack? What do the French Know that We Don’t?
2. Is Snacking Good or Bad for You?