Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Snack Time made Easy

When Pom went on the gluten free diet originally I was stumped. About everything really but mostly about snacks. We already made mostly gluten free dinners without thinking about it but snacks...that was tough.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be the kind of parent that makes intricate snacks every day at the same time, but I'm not. Call it busy, call it lazy, call it whatever but my favorite snack foods are the prepackaged crap in little bags that can be thrown in a "snack drawer" so that the kids can get it themselves when that magic 3 o'clock hits. Try finding those kind that are gluten free and decently priced though. I also prefer that they aren't TOO full of crap. This was a problem....but with a little extra time, I found a solution. The snack drawer is back!

The diagnosis of Celiac's, as most people will tell you, was kind of a blessing in disguise. I realized just how much processed crap we ate! Not that we don't still eat some, but it's a much healthier diet now. We have two snack drawers now because one is in the fridge. Here's how we do it.

Cold Snacks

First of all, we do have some easiness here. The cold snack drawer does house things like string cheese and organic yogurt tubes (occasionally it even houses Go-gurt when we can't get out of town). The options they choose regularly though are individual bags of grapes, bags of sliced apples, bags of carrots or already peeled oranges. I bought an apple slicer from Pampered Chef years ago so it gets a lot of use these days. Turns out they actually do sell individual bags of sliced apples...but oh my they are expensive! It is SO much cheaper to buy whole apples. I slice them, put them in little ziptop snack baggies with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent browning and throw the baggies in a drawer. One of the girls favorite things in when I slice some cheddar cheese into little squares, 4 per baggie. They combine that with crackers from the other snack drawer for crackers and cheese. :)

Regular Snacks

Again with a little bit of easiness, we occasionally buy Welch's fruit snacks. Mostly we buy things like gluten free pretzels, gluten free crackers and gluten free graham crackers. I then separate them into individual baggies based on the serving size and put them all in the drawer.

It takes a little extra time to do this but I do it as I am unloading groceries. Groceries used to take me about 20 minutes to unload. Now it takes about 30. Ten minutes once a week is soooo worth allowing the kids to make their own choices at snack time. They are able to visually see a serving size out of that big bag, which I think will help them make better nutritional choices for their entire life. One can hope.

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