Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snacks and Snacking

I can hear them coming up the street.

When their sisters were in fourth and fifth grade, we picked them up so religiously, two blocks away, as if the three of them were in danger of coming under sniper fire on their way home.

Now, the two next in line, ten and eleven, walk themselves home. Wave thank you (hopefully) to Georgia, the volleyball-player-turned-crossing-guard. Pet the black Lab at the house on the corner. Run through the hundred-yard wood that connects the block from school, to the block from home.

There is a cheeriness, a determination, about their responses when I ask "do you want me to pick you up?", that speaks volumes about the resiliency of second and third and sixth children.

They're o.k.

So, at least this year, these two are the first in line for afterschool snack.

::

I've already mentioned Emily's admirable desire for peanut butter on whole wheat English muffins. I could just stop there, now. Can you imagine a better snack?

But, she's pretty much the only one, for that.

I always have snack out and ready. (Well, truth be told, maybe not always, but usually.) Of course, fruit. I've been over that, before.

And then usually some sort of pretzels. I'm a huge pretzel fan. Tortilla chips and salsa. Dried cranberries, and maybe some walnuts, almonds, etc...

More often than not, something sweet, too. Cookies: either I've made some, or some FigNewmans, Newman's O's. Banana bread: because what is wrong with my kids that they have slowed down on the bananas? I mostly don't buy them anymore, because they usually go uneaten until they finally are not fit for anything but banana bread.

Popcorn. Lots of popcorn, because it's cheap, easy and popcorn.

We eat a lot of toast for snack, since I'm a crazy person with the No-Knead Bread. But you may have already surmised that.

But then, snack is also something different. It's 4:45 and we're waiting for Tim to come home and grill, or make pizza.

So, snack, then, is a bowl of cut up veggies, maybe even just a bag of baby-carrots poured out into a bowl, with a cup of ranch, a cup of vinaigrette (there are two distinct camps in the house, dressing wise.)

When I have fresh carrots with the tops on, and I scrub them and call out "who wants a big carrot?" you would be surprised at the enthusiasm. You'd have thunk I just offered Twizzlers. (Hi, Jo!)

In the winter, when it's dark at 4:30, and some girls are on their way out the door to gymnastics, or band practice...there is usually something warm;a little soup, some edamame, an omelet. Snack here can be supper. And supper is warm.

On summer days...well. Snack is all of the above, but also: ice pops. Now, you and I know exactly how easy it is to make an ice pop. And a good one, at that, with organic juice, or lemonade, or whatever. But thankfully, so far, the kids seem to think I've done something fabulous.

By the end of last summer I was making twenty ice pops at a time, to fill the demand. When you are handing out pink lemonade pops, you really don't want to be the one to say that you don't have enough for one more kid.

Snacks wear me out. It is the unexpected meal. The thing that rears it's head almost as soon as you have cleaned up from the last thing.

But, I find snack to be an easy way to give them something that they want, and still give them something that you want them to have.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
tt

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3 Comments:

Blogger Grey Cottage Studio said...

I so enjoy your daily dose of wisdom. I usually come away with a new idea or at least some food for thought.

My littlest has all kinds of food allergies so I've had to revise our snack list a bit. Newman's Hermits make a great cookie option and my kids love any kind of fruit slices, popcorn and popsicles. Sometimes I do yogurt parfaits, layering fruit, yogurt and granola.

I always think it's funny when they have playdates over who don't like some of those foods. Aren't big carrots so much tastier than the little ones?

March 24, 2009 8:53 AM  
Blogger Adam Glenn said...

What a great snack list -- for the kids *and* grownups in my house ... By the way, nice way to get bananas in 'em: smoothies! I make mine with 1-2 overripe bananas, a cup of nonfat yogurt, other fruit (blueberries, strawberries, melon, for instance), a drizzle of honey, a tablespoon of wheat germ, some ice or a little cranberry juice. Delicious :-)

March 24, 2009 9:04 AM  
Blogger julochka said...

i felt both hungry and exhausted reading this--that's a lotta snacks! and a lot of thought gone into them. you are truly super mom!

we eat a lot of carrots at our house too, but only with the tops on in the early autumn. and these days, we're saving the really big ones for silver star to eat after our saturday riding lessons.

love the table runner on the table and saw the corner of a very cool Built bag. :-) we have a couple of those around here as well.

yet another post to aspire to...

xox,
/j

March 24, 2009 1:20 PM  

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