I get so tired of packing snacks. Everywhere we go, it seems we need to bring a nibble. You never know when the kids will be suddenly starving, and it’s no good buying them something every time they whine that they’re hungry. Do you know how much an applesauce pouch costs at Starbucks? And after you’ve shelled out four bucks for it, your kid will inevitably swallow one mouthful and declare herself full. At least, that’s how my kids work.
And I’m always the mom who didn’t bring enough. Whether it’s because I’m trying to limit their intake (the boy always has an appetite and it can become excessive) or because I just forgot to pack something, or the fruit I brought is unappetizingly bruised, or they just decided they no longer like their favorite pouches of applesauce (to which I reply, if you’re not hungry enough for applesauce, you must not be very hungry) my snack supply always seems to run out too soon.
Mostly, this just leads to whining. I can handle whining; it’s my daily soundtrack. But when we’re out with friends and their mommies brought coolers full of goodies and they’re over there mooching Gogurts and fruit snacks, I feel a little bad. Not just because I don’t usually allow Gogurts and fruit snacks, but because my kids act like I never feed them.
“I get to eat!” they’ve been known to squeal with glee.
Yes, darlings, you get to eat. You get to eat every day at regular intervals. You are not starving or malnourished and I doubt you know the feeling of real hunger.
Anyway. I’ve come up with a bit of a solution to my snack problem; one that provides sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy in a single package, without too too much added sugar or empty calories. Mostly, I like it because I can pack one thing, but I’m really packing five things. I call it:
Mommy’s Magic Mix.
In a large bowl, combine:
Two cups goldfish crackers (I go with whole wheat because I’m susceptible to that kind of marketing)
Two cups Cheerios
One cup dried blueberries, raisins, or craisins
One cup banana chips
One cup pistachios (or your liebchen’s favorite nut)
Store in an airtight container (one of those cereal containers works really well).
Of course, if your kids are of the my-foods-can’t-touch-each-other variety, this won’t work. Thankfully, my kids are happy to pick out what they want, whether the banana chip has touched a goldfish or not. And if they pick out all the goldfish and start whining they’re hungry, I know they’ve got plenty of food still in front of them, and they can just lump it.
Or go mooch some fruit snacks off my friends. Either way.