I started to see a trend when we’d try to leave the house. When getting ready to take my son out to run errands or hit the park, I’d hear myself say every time:
I forgot to pack snaaaaack!
It became such a source of regular stress and I needed to fix something. Having to throw together a snack as I was heading out the door was too much! Getting toddler shoes on, strapping baby into a carrier, and cramming food into a container was not happening. So, I had to start planning ahead. I bought square Tupperware containers in a size I liked and bulk packed ahead of time. It would take me about 20 minutes to – for example – bag trail mix, slice cheese, make granola bars and arrange them in these containers. A stack of 8 snack packs would go into our fridge and I’d grab one each time we headed out the door. It was life-changing! No more rushing! No more frantic, last minute, what-do-we-even-have-in-our-fridge packing!
Snacking in America is the norm since we run around too much to sit still and enjoy extended meals. But, our snack world is filled with over-processed, sugary choices that are designed for extended shelf life. Making these snack packs ensure that we eat better. It’s easy to buy bulk granola bars, bags of chips or fruit snacks, but I just didn’t feel comfortable feeding growing children those things on a regular basis. This sentiment is hard to commit to, though, when things are rushed and I just grab whatever is in front of me. So, I put wholesome things in front of me via these snack packs.
When I have time to pack them – usually at night or during nap time – I pick two assortments to focus on and pack half of the packs with one and the other half with the other. Then, when I stack them in the refrigerator, I alternate contents in the snack packs because we typically go out twice a day. This way, we won’t eat the same thing twice. Option 1 might include trail mix, homemade mini muffins, and berries. We’ll eat these in the morning. Option 2 would include something like sliced cheese, granola bars, and baby carrots, which we’ll eat in the afternoon.
This consistent preparation has done me wonders. And I must admit: they’re good for me, too! I’ll often grab an extra one (or a mason jar, see here) for myself and munch in the car. Now that we have three kids, nourishing myself has become a little trickier and I’m thankful for the boost! So, even if you’re a pregnant mom-to-be or your baby is too little to eat solid foods, I recommend these for yourself. They are a healthy way to eat by simply consolidating your planning and prepping.