FullSizeRender (9)This morning I was reading a blog post about a mom who got fed up with snacking and it sparked an old feeling inside me. I have talked about snacking before, I have ranted and raved about snacking before, I will talk to anyone who will listen to me about snacking before, but I need to bring it up again.

Our snacking is out of control! Grown-ups and children but this post is going to focus on our kids.

I’ll never forget the time I had to run into Kohl’s really quick to grab something. Maybe a 10 min. trip. I had my daughter with me and the second we crossed the threshold with her stroller she asked for a snack. She not only asked for the snack, she just assumed there was one coming. Like I have a magical snack dispenser in my purse that shoots out pretzels and yogurt covered raisins. When I told her I didn’t have anything, she made my trip to the store much less pleasant. But, it’s not her fault- it was mine. You see, it’s easier to give kids snacks. If they are busy with cheerios, they aren’t whining. They aren’t crying in the car if they have Teddy Grahams. But what is that teaching them? Instead of looking out the window for 15 minutes and observing the world, they are digging for more cheap carbohydrates in a plastic bag. At the store, instead of having polite conversation with mommy and smiling at strangers, they are looking down into cardboard-like ‘gold fishys’. Instead of learning that sometimes they have to behave, even though they are bored, they are self soothing with junk food.

And, even if you are pretty strict with snacks, you have to be like a mom-ninja to avoid all the sugar crap that is being offered to them around every turn. Bank- here, take a hard candy. Hair cut- here take a lolli pop for acting like a human child should act. Grandma’s house- I only gave them 3 donuts with their chocolate milk this morning. Here take a 100 calorie pack of cookies for the 20 min drive home. (Sorry Mom- but you know I am right.) Birthday party- I know we just ate cake with electric blue frosting, but here is a goody bag with more candy for later. Sports activities- The kids stood out in a field being yelled at to pay attention every 3 minutes for a half hour. Let’s replace all those electrolytes and carb load! It’s madness!

Take a look at Pinterest and do a search for Fun Snacks for Kids. Ugh, not only do we not need a snack every hour, we certainly don’t need homemade ‘sushi’ made from a tortilla, chocolate spread, and a banana. (seriously, I just searched it to see what would come up and it was my worst nightmare). I get it, once in a while that is cute… But, your kid should be able to just eat a frickin apple once in a while. Besides, if they only eat sandwiches that look like Teddy Bears, how are you going to sustain that.

All that said, there is a time and place for snacking. Of course there is. I am not depriving my children. But, let’s be careful about what message we are sending. You don’t get a cookie because you didn’t throw a tantrum in toys r us. I expect you not to throw a tantrum in toys r us. You don’t get graham crackers to get you thru the 1/2 mile walk around the block. Your young, healthy body can more than handle that level of exertion. You don’t get crackers because you are bored at the store with mom. Use your imagination. Children that eat when they are bored, turn into grown ups that eat when they are bored.

It is not healthy for kids to maintain a high level of sugar in their little bodies all day long. Cereal, yogurt, dried fruit, cookies, graham crackers, gold fish, juice boxes are all FILLED with sugar (and if they don’t have a lot of sugar they turn into sugar in their blood stream immediately). I don’t want to get heavy into the science, but it becomes very hard for kids to control their mood and their behavior when there is a constant up and down in blood sugar or if it is always high.

So, let’s put an end to this. Take a stand against sugar with me! Go cold turkey. Your kids will be fine. In fact, they’ll actually be hungry at dinner time.

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