Friday 12 February 2016

Nutrition | Help yourself snack drawer

If there's one thing about most kids, it is that they are always hungry.. am I right? Sienna is constantly asking for snacks or saying she is hungry and needs more energy to play (yeah right!). A while a go, I came across the idea of a 'help yourself' snack drawer and decided to give it a go with Sienna.

The idea is to have a drawer full of snacks that she can help herself too when it is snack time. I still have the control over what she is eating as I put the snacks in there but she feels like she has the control as she is allowed to choose and help herself. She loves making decisions so this has been great for her.

It's been working really well and I feel like it will be something that is really handy for when we have the baby as well..If I'm busy and she needs a snack, she is able to get it herself so I don't have to stop what I'm doing. 

We do have one 'rule' for the snack drawer.. I personally feel like we need this rule otherwise Sienna would eat the whole drawer in one go and that is that she is only allowed in there at snack time and she has to ask (ok maybe that's two rules?!). We have snack time at around 10:30am and 3pm and so that is when Sienna can choose a snack. Occasionally, if she is feeling extra hungry and she asks I will let her have another one but generally, these are the only times she is allowed in the drawer. This took a bit of getting used too and a few tantrums but she is really good with it now. 

I portion things out into bags or buy them already portioned, so she can just grab something and go which is the whole idea of course. I also try to make them as healthy as I can while still being 'yummy' for her. We have a drawer full of cupboard snacks as I find she has a lot of fresh produce for her meals however when she can reach the fridge, I may start doing a snack drawer in there with things like portioned out grapes with cheese, crackers with houmous etc.

Snack ideas
-Organic fruit/no added sugar bars,
-Rice cakes,
-Organic biscuits,
-Crackers or breadsticks,
-Homemade trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, raisins and sometimes dark chocolate,
-Boxes of raisins,
-Apple crisps (no added sugar),
-Organic crisps,
-Dried mango/banana,
-Peanut butter (the natural kind) & pretzels,
-Dark chocolate, 
-Dry (healthy) cereal

We also try to keep a few snacks in the freezer such as homemade no added sugar muffins or homemade granola bars. Sienna can help herself to these as she can open the freezer however I do need to defrost them in the microwave so they aren't that good an option if I am busy. When she can reach the fridge these kind of things will be easier to add in!

If we end up doing the fridge snack drawer, I will do a separate post on it but for now I hope you liked this one! Let me know if you give it a go and what you put in it :)

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