Another school year and another round of daily snacks for kids. After an expensive trip to Sam's and many snacks devoured I am changing up the system. I think that we have kids getting into the junk food when they shouldn't. We have one child who is struggling with portion sizes and weight gains. After going through literally cases of snacks in a week I have pulled all snacks from the pantry.
I divided out some junk snacks for the kids and each kid has their own snack container. I control these since some kids have been complaining that they are not able to get some snacks as they were all eaten up. I told the kids that this was a weeks worth of junk snacks. Yes, we allow candy in moderation, cookies, chips and such. There are fruit snacks in there as well. The kids are taking snacks to school and then having a snack when they get home. There is enough in that container for one snack a day for the next week. I am not controlling how much or when they eat their snack stash. I am only controlling the containers to ensure that each child only gets into their own stash.
To supplement their snacks the kids are allowed unlimited access to fruits and cheese.
I showed the kids how much junk food they were receiving. I think it is a lot. I am hoping that this will control the ones who are sneaking and the ones who are stealing. I know that I have been attacked because I have said in the past that children are stealing food in the house. I have also been attacked for the fact that John and I (and even my mom) have our own little stashes of our favorite foods. The fact that we have our own stash does not and never meant that the kids didn't get their own junk foods. Yes, I consider it stealing when you go into someones space and take something that belongs to them, even if it is food. John has a thing for nuts, $10/can nuts. Someone is going into his office and eating them up. I have a stash of coins in my car (well I used to), one of the kids has taken them. From my understanding one child was bragging that they had enough change to buy chips at school. However, that child denies all even with three witnesses to the fact.
I personally don't think that the kids need all these snacks. The school has conditioned them to think that they do. In the summer the kids eat less snacks even though they are home. They will head out to the pool or we will go on a trip and we don't do breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. They are busy and typically about the time they come in saying they are hungry it is lunch time or dinner time (we eat early). I think that it is possible for the older kids to go 4 hours without a snack. I think that they are eating out of routine and not hunger. Not a good habit to develop.
Most nights I prepare a meal and we eat together when John gets home around 5:30. I can tell when some kids have had too much junk, they will barely eat the prepared food. Although Emma has improved greatly, given the opportunity she will turn down a home cooked meal for junk.
Anyone else struggle with the school snack schedule? Do your kids have snacks time up into middle school? Do you think that all the snacking is necessary?