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I was reading a blog about how to cut your grocery bill, and the woman said that she just does not buy snacks (or cheese, which I really don't understand either).

 

But, if you don't buy snacks for your kids, then what do you feed them? Do you spend hours each week baking your own snacks?

 

I try to buy fruit for snacks, but it only goes so far. Eventually, the grapes and bananas run out. So, I also buy animal crackers, cheese crackers, etc.

But, it seems as though 3 days after I've gone to the store, all of the snacks are gone. It's making me crazy.

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Planned snacking helps. When our kids were as young as yours, we had two snacks a day- usually one before bedtime and the other was during the day- depending on our schedule, it might be that we needed a snack late morning because we were having a later lunch. Or we needed an afternoon snack because we had an early lunch. Either way, two snacks a day.

 

In addition to limiting snacks (which helped them eat better at mealtime), I portioned the cracker type snacks into snack size baggies or small snack containers. That kept them from eating too much at one time, and got them used to portion size.

I had a basket on the table that held the snacks in the bags, and also had the fruit. At snacktime, a kid could choose. The fridge held other options, but in small containers. We still use the 1/2 cup rubbermaid type containers for holding cut fruit, etc. Grab and go makes it easy AND keeps them aware of portion size.

 

It's really not a bad method. We no longer limit snacks but the kids still like having the basket of stuff available. When they're rushing out the door to their college classes, it's so easy to grab a granola bar and a snack or two to get them through until they get home that afternoon.

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We have vegetables, locally grown type fruits, and then we have a baking day once a week with the kids and use it for part of our home ec. We make the fun snacks then such as peanut butter cookies, raisin cookies, zucchini muffins, beet muffins and whatever else we decide on.

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I don’t buy very many packaged kinds of snacks, except occasionally to have for outings or during swim season at the pool. Typically we’ll buy granola bars or dried fruit. For the pool we did a lot of microwave popcorn and yogurt tubes frozen. I also bought some of those yogurt drinks which are pricey but were worth it during swim season for my oldest.

 

For around the house we do:

Fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, cherries, berries)

Dried Fruit

Nuts

Popcorn (usually not the microwave kind so it’s cheaper)

Yogurts (a small size one or the squeezable tubes frozen)

1/2 a bagel or toast with choice of spreads

Cheese

 

I do occasionally buy Goldfish crackers or pretzels, mostly for the two year old but I save them and pretty much only use them to have when we go out in case she gets hungry.

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Well, cheese is a pretty popular snack here, lol.

Also,

Fruit, which I buy in absurd quantities

Avocado

Frozen blueberries (yes, a fruit, but lasts a long time in the freezer)

leftover meat from dinner

bacon

carrot sticks

cucumber slices

hard boiled eggs

etc.

 

I do boil eggs occasionally, and cook bacon a couple of times a week, but otherwise I don't really spend time on snack prep. Usually I just hand out fruit and some cheese or something. We have snack about twice a day - bedtime and morning for DD, bedtime and after nap for the twins (who eat lunch earlier to accommodate their nap needs). I don't really snack, but take meals with my DD.

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I was reading a blog about how to cut your grocery bill, and the woman said that she just does not buy snacks (or cheese, which I really don't understand either).

 

But, if you don't buy snacks for your kids, then what do you feed them? Do you spend hours each week baking your own snacks?

 

I try to buy fruit for snacks, but it only goes so far. Eventually, the grapes and bananas run out. So, I also buy animal crackers, cheese crackers, etc.

But, it seems as though 3 days after I've gone to the store, all of the snacks are gone. It's making me crazy.

 

3 days? Wow. :)

 

We make cheese tortillas a lot for snacks. Or peanut butter sandwiches. So real food. Not snack food.

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I keep hard-boiled eggs and homemade granola bars in the fridge. They also snack on cheese, almonds, fruits, and veggies. I also make peanut butter sandwiches that keep in the freezer (our own version of uncrustables, but healthier) and they can thaw one of those out if they want.

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I try to buy fruit for snacks, but it only goes so far.

 

 

Double the amount you buy and limit the amount for snacks. :D

 

Unless they are getting some protein, they won't fill up the same as they do on your empty carb sources... Think cheese sticks, almonds, nuts, seeds, etc.

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We try not to have bread or chip type snacks around the house. Kids will decimate that (I will decimate that), but will decide they're not hungry enough for carrots or an apple.

 

The only carb-heavy snack I do is popcorn. Usually I'll make a large bowl or two when friends are over (made on the stove with oil, no butter, salted) and they gobble it up. We also bake on the weekend (bread, cookies, muffins, cake) and that's available a little each day (more as a dessert then snack) until its gone.

 

Snacks:

 

cheese (stick)

yogurt (1 cup)

nuts (hand full)

peanut butter

fruit (all kinds)

vegetables (all kinds)

leftovers

 

I also don't buy cheese at the store, but we have a cheese factory local to us and we go every 6 weeks and stock up.

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We try not to have bread or chip type snacks around the house. Kids will decimate that (I will decimate that), but will decide they're not hungry enough for carrots or an apple.

 

The only carb-heavy snack I do is popcorn. Usually I'll make a large bowl or two when friends are over (made on the stove with oil, no butter, salted) and they gobble it up. We also bake on the weekend (bread, cookies, muffins, cake) and that's available a little each day (more as a dessert then snack) until its gone.

 

Snacks:

 

cheese (stick)

yogurt (1 cup)

nuts (hand full)

peanut butter

fruit (all kinds)

vegetables (all kinds)

leftovers

 

I also don't buy cheese at the store, but we have a cheese factory local to us and we go every 6 weeks and stock up.

 

The bolded is exactly what happens here. I bought two loaves of bread a few days ago--they're both nearly gone! That's a lot of toast. I don't buy crackers or chips anymore because that's all they'll eat, and they'll complain when the box is empty. Easier just not to buy it. That way it's a big treat when they do have it too.

 

As for the OP, we do much of what the others mentioned--fruit, veggies, lunchmeat, a small portion of leftovers, etc. I do buy big containers of nuts at Costco maybe once a month, but once they're gone, they're gone until the next trip. And I do occasionally buy dried fruit the same way. Otherwise, no real snack foods around here.

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Sometimes I'll buy a large container of plain yogurt. Then spoon some into a bowl and mix with a bit of jam (like the stuff you use with peanut butter on sandwiches) for a yogurt snack.

 

It also works well with granola mixed in.

 

Mmmm, yes. You just reminded me that I bought real berries yesterday to go in my yogurt. I need to go have some now!

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If you have an Aldi around their snacks are MUCH less expensive.

 

:iagree: And just as good or better than the expensive name brands. We have been limiting our snacks lately because of cost and carbs, but a bag of Aldi tortilla chips used for nachos is a nice snack or lunch here.

 

Their mozzarella cheese sticks are the best snack, I think.

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In our house we have:

 

Boiled Eggs

Cheese

Lunch Meat

Peanut Butter

Fruits

Veggies

 

The above are "snack foods" if someone is hungry. We don't have chips/crackers/boxed snack foods.

 

I do have cheese and crackers in the car for when we are on the go, but they only eat one 99 cent package a week/two.

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We do popcorn or bread or leftovers. If they don't want real food options then they're just bored and not really hungry. I like to have options that will satisfy them if they're actually hungry, but won't appeal if they just have the munchies (which means they will eat snacky food and then not eat the balanced dinner I planned and prepared).

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My kids don't really snack. If someone is hungry outside of mealtime, I offer cold cuts, string cheese, nuts, fruit, or toast with cream cheese on it. If they don't want those things, I figure they aren't too hungry.

:iagree: I will admit one afternoon snack is not that unusual but I don't buy snack foods. Fruit, cheese, boiled eggs, cookie, yogurt, carrots etc. just whatever happens to be in the fridge.:)

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I don't buy packaged stuff. Well, on occasion I do, but the same thing happens. It's gone in a day.

 

I have a weakness for chips. Or anything crunchy and salty.

 

I keep on hand cheese which I cut into little cubes, fruit, nuts, sandwiches, leftovers, greek yogurt, deli meats, pickles. Things like that. My kids don't really eat typical snack foods. Often they will want something like leftovers from dinner. We don't snack a ton.

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My kids are always hungry and probably have 3 snacks a day. But they are all skinny as a rail and eat well at meal times so I don't limit their snacks. I do buy chips, and graham crackers but they tend to be the last thing anyone reaches for. Mostly they eat yogurt, granola, nuts, toast with peanut butter, fruit(tons), and veggies(peppers, carrots, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers.

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I made sure that there were no snacks within 2 hours of a meal, and make sure meals are filling and well balanced. The snacking can become a bad habit - snacking spoils your meal, so you only eat a snack-sized portion of the meal, and you are hungry again in an hour. Little kids need more meals, but you have to try to make most calories come from meals. also I would push a large, healthy mid-afternoon snack to stave off late afternoon snacks which might interfere w dinner, and absolutely NO snacking for at least an hour after dinner - so they dont skip dinner just to eat snacks

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Call me silly, but if you're (generic you, of course) buying yogurt tubes, string cheese, extra fruit, nuts, popcorn, baby carrots and celery, hummus and other similar foods that aren't intended for a specific meal then you ARE buying snacks after all, right? What am I missing, LOL?

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I have a food dehydrator, so we have homemade jerky and fruit leather. Dehydrating fruit means you can stock up on bruised or weird fruit for cheaper and it doesn't matter. Homemade cookies are cheap and if filled with oats and fruit instead of sugar healthy. Peanut butter and veggies. Hummus. Homemade naan.

 

I don't think a lot of traditional snacky things are good to fill up on.

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My kids are always hungry and probably have 3 snacks a day. But they are all skinny as a rail and eat well at meal times so I don't limit their snacks.

:iagree:

 

My teenagers eat a lot of food, and they never gain weight. They take after their dad that way, mad fast metabolisms. I did not want them to feed themselves a ton of junk food, and they can clean out an entire stocked pantry & fridge in less than two days. So to avoid going broke I buy very few processed snacks. I stock up on massive amounts of pretzels (cheap and sugar free). We do have popcorn kernels, for use in an air popper or on the stove top, and I will buy a large bag of veggie straws or veggie chips from Sams as a treat once a week.

 

Thankfully my kids love veggies and yogurt! So we have a garden that brings in large amount of fresh veggies that they snack on throughout the day. We always keep eggs and cheese on hand, so they often make eggs with veggies and cheese. I make homemade yogurt in the crock pot a gallon at a time, which the kids eat with fruit. I make homemade Popsicle's using juice, yogurt, fruit, milk or whatever I have on hand, I toss it in the blender then pour it into the molds. PB&J sandwiches get made a lot. Occasionally, I pick up a large bag of pre-cooked & peeled shrimp. All of my kids know how to bake so they often make their own desserts & sweets. I also found an amazingly simple granola recipe that I double and always have on hand.

 

Granola Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. butter or oil, vegetable, canola or olive

2 Tbs. water

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey, molasses, table syrup or mixture of two or more)

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup wheat germ

4 Tbs. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

4 Tbs. ground flaxseed (optional)

2/3 cup coconut (optional)

1 1/2 cups nuts (almonds, pecans, sunflower or pumkin seeds or other nuts, mix and match or just use one)

Adjust oven racks to middle positions. Preheat to 275 degrees. Coat two metal cookie sheets with cooking spray or oil and set aside.

Bring oil, syrup, cinnamon, water to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

Mix oats through nuts in a large bowl. Pour oil/maple syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour mixture onto two prepared cookie sheets. Working a handful at a time, squeeze granola to form small clumps.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

Let cool. Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Edited by NineChoirs
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Planned snacking helps. When our kids were as young as yours, we had two snacks a day- usually one before bedtime and the other was during the day- depending on our schedule, it might be that we needed a snack late morning because we were having a later lunch. Or we needed an afternoon snack because we had an early lunch. Either way, two snacks a day.

 

In addition to limiting snacks (which helped them eat better at mealtime), I portioned the cracker type snacks into snack size baggies or small snack containers. That kept them from eating too much at one time, and got them used to portion size.

I had a basket on the table that held the snacks in the bags, and also had the fruit. At snacktime, a kid could choose. The fridge held other options, but in small containers. We still use the 1/2 cup rubbermaid type containers for holding cut fruit, etc. Grab and go makes it easy AND keeps them aware of portion size.

 

It's really not a bad method. We no longer limit snacks but the kids still like having the basket of stuff available. When they're rushing out the door to their college classes, it's so easy to grab a granola bar and a snack or two to get them through until they get home that afternoon.

 

:iagree:

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We eat food for snacks. I always make more than I need. If they're hungry, eat some macaroni salad, some leftovers, carrots and dip, celery and cream cheese, yogurt and granola, another sandwich-this is big as we love PB&J.

 

Wabi, I don't but them in snack packs, I buy a 10lb bag of carrots that I'll use for dinners, and then peel and cut some up for a snack. I'll have the dip ingredients on hand, and whatever they don't use, I'll put in potato salad. I don't buy 'snacks' I buy enough food that we have snacks.

 

I have an open door refrigerator policy, and my kids are extremely skinny, so as long as something is healthy, I let them have at it.

Edited by justamouse
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Vegans don't do dairy so I don't have a problem understanding that.

 

I don't buy snacks often, either...at least not chips, snack cakes, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.

 

I do buy popping corn (kernels, not microwave) and fruit. They eat grapes, berries, and other quick perishables during the first half of the week and apples and oranges the rest of the time.

 

Other than that if they want snack they are welcome to make half a sandwich, grab a glass of milk, or a handful of nuts (I keep peanuts stocked and buy others when they are on sale or there is wiggle room in the budget).

 

ETA: Oh, I forgot to mention that I always keep celery and carrot sticks stocked in the fridge, too. I get baby carrots for under 1.00/lb at the commissary and they eat those a lot but they're not above grabbing a whole carrot if that's all that's left because I buy those, too.

Edited by Pretty in Pink
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My kids love granola bars I buy as Sams and they dip it in apple sauce. I have two growing teens and they eat all day long. I let them have bread with peanut butter and nutella, I only buy wheat bread though so they do not love that and do not eat too much of it.

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My kids snack on food that might show up in a meal:

 

Fruit (fresh, frozen, dried)

Raw veggies

Plain Greek yogurt w fruit

Smoothies made from fruit, Greek yogurt/almond milk/juice

Peanut butter sandwich or w apple slices;

Leftovers

Cheddar cheese w homemade wholewheat tortilla or hm corn tortilla or apple slices

Homemade granola w cow milk/almond milk/Greek yogurt

Boiled eggs

 

About the only "snacky" thing I buy is popcorn which we pop on the stove. I will buy other foods for parties etc.

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I buy saltine crackers and popcorn. That's the only "snack" food I buy. The boys don't snack a lot. But when they do, they'll have cheese slices and crackers, peanut butter and crackers, fruit, peanut butter sandwich, popcorn, veggie sticks, or dry cereal. I make muffins and granola bars sometimes, which we'll have for snack. But that's not a regular thing.

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Snacks here are

 

Cheese and fruit

Peanut butter and fruit

Sandwich

dried fruit and nuts

hard boiled eggs

popcorn

veggies and hummus

Chobani yogurts, ds will eat yogurt all day long, that's probably the most expensive "snack" I buy but a lot of other Greek yogurts isn't real Greek yogurt.

I make muffins with fruit, nuts and flax seeds in them. They still have sugar so they aren't "healthy" but they do keep the kids satisfied.

Smoothy

 

Occasionally the kids will realize dh has bought cheeze-its on the sly again and they will get into them. If I buy a lot of snacks like chips and crackers I will eat too many of them. :lol: I am allergic to cheese so all the cheese I buy is only for snacks. I don't buy a lot of it but it is still a healthy source of protein for the kids.

Edited by Sis
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Call me silly, but if you're (generic you, of course) buying yogurt tubes, string cheese, extra fruit, nuts, popcorn, baby carrots and celery, hummus and other similar foods that aren't intended for a specific meal then you ARE buying snacks after all, right? What am I missing, LOL?

I must be missing something, too. If they eat outside of mealtimes, that's snacking, yes?

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We don't usually snack. If someone does get hungry, they'll find something...fruit, leftover dinner, half a sandwich, leftover baked goods.

 

:iagree: If they have the munchies, I tell them to eat a carrot, dry cereal, or a spoon of peanut butter. I actually found that they usually aren't really hungry...just munchy/bored. If I buy snacks, we eat them. We don't really need it, so I don't buy them.

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Call me silly, but if you're (generic you, of course) buying yogurt tubes, string cheese, extra fruit, nuts, popcorn, baby carrots and celery, hummus and other similar foods that aren't intended for a specific meal then you ARE buying snacks after all, right? What am I missing, LOL?

 

I am in agreement. I buy similar things but I call them snacks. If I say to dh, "I am going to the store to get snacks." He is going to expect to see fruit, uts, dried fruit, yogurt, eggs, cheese and sandwich things in my bags.

Edited by Sis
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We don't spend hours each week on making snacks but we do make many snacks.

 

Stuff we buy (and chop)-

 

Fruit- pineapple, berries, bananas, apples, peaches, melon (melon is cheaper usually) tomatoes, grapes, avocado, dried fruits

Veggies- carrots, peppers, green beans, celery.

Rice cakes- my gluten free sub for toast

Cheese

Some crackers

Nuts

Gluten free pretzels when I see a decent price.

corn chips

 

Stuff we make-

 

Yogurt (we will add fruit and flax to homemade yogurt for a parfait)

Oatmeal bars

Some crackers

Peanut butter cookies

Hummus

Salsa

Pesto

Cheese spreads

Chicken/tuna salad

Carrot muffins

Popsicles/yogurt bars.

 

 

Before I went gluten free and cows milk dairy free, we did a lot more baking and homemade stuff. The kids are lower dairy but I have not eliminated it for them since they really love it and are not allergic.

 

They usually have 1 or 2 snacks a day and I will pack them with their lunches when we are out and about. Lunch is basically a snack + some pasta or sandwich.

Edited by kijipt
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My kids mostly eat meal things for snacks. They have a second breakfast if they are hungry before lunch. They eat fruits and veggies between lunch and dinner. Our meals are light on veggies and fruit because we eat those between meals.

 

My toddler eats 5-6 times per day. My 4yo still needs to eat between meals too.

 

Back in the day I used to buy snacky foods. Those were the good old days. Fewer kids and more disposable income. I would still buy snacky things if I could.

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Call me silly, but if you're (generic you, of course) buying yogurt tubes, string cheese, extra fruit, nuts, popcorn, baby carrots and celery, hummus and other similar foods that aren't intended for a specific meal then you ARE buying snacks after all, right? What am I missing, LOL?

 

I'm operating on the assumption that we're mainly referring to specialized snack foods--the kind that are really only appropriate for snacks. The OP mentioned "So, I also buy animal crackers, cheese crackers, etc." I buy those very rarely for special treats, not daily/weekly snacks. Our main snack foods are foods that I generally buy as ingredients for meals or sides to meals: chopped veggies, fruit, yogurt and berries (often used as dessert here), granola (also used as breakfast cereal), chunks of cheese (used in recipes as well), nuts and seeds (which I consider an important part of our diet), etc. I mean, you could consider a leftover chicken leg a snack, but I don't buy chicken legs with the intention of keeping them for that purpose. I buy them for dinners.

 

Is the word "snack" starting to sound weird to anyone else? :lol:

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I found that my kids were snacking just because it was 'snack time'. They were getting through masses of crackers, raisins, cheese, fruit etc etc.

 

I cancelled snacking! All except fruit. If they are hungry before lunch they can have an apple or a banana. After a few days I found they were eating better at meal times and didn't want the snack anyway. Occasionally for a treat or with friends we will have some popcorn or something.

 

I'm sure we've saved money, but I don't know how much.

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I am in agreement. I buy similar things but I call them snacks. If I say to dh, "I am going to the store to get snacks." He is going to expect to see fruit, uts, dried fruit, yogurt, eggs, cheese and sandwich things in my bags.

 

Those are a part of our meals. We'll all eat yogurt for breakfast, with granola and fruit. Lunch will be carrot sticks, hummus, and hard boiled eggs, maybe some sardines and crackers. Fruit is desert here. They'll eat a cantaloupe for dessert (I DO make a pie or cake or something for Sunday) but if they want something sweet, they'll grab a peach.

 

But like I said, my kids eat all the time and I don't monitor their diets. I don't ned to, they're skinny and I'm forever trying to pack pounds on them.

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My kids can anytime eat carrots or apples, which I always have on hand.

 

Other snacks are homemade and doled out by me, usually popcorn, other fruits and veggies, cheese sticks, peanut butter on toast or tortillas, hard boiled eggs, muffins, etc.

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-Trail Mix - My own combo of granola cereal, yogurt covered raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, banana chips, sesame sticks, chocolate covered raisins, almonds, and dried fruit mix. I found a pallet of trail mix ingredients at Walmart for $1 a bag, that mix has lasted us a long time.

 

 

I used to do this until I noticed the "good bits" were getting picked of of the mix leaving the other stuff behind. :glare:

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Around here snacks are mostly raw veggies. Right now they eat 2-3 cucumbers a day sliced up for their snack. I lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and they chow down. We will also have pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, ocassionally celery/peanut butter, raw carrots (mostly it's just plain veggies, we only have dip maybe once a month). If it's not veggies it's probably fresh fruit. Either way my total prep time is less than 10 minutes, usually under 5.

 

Only one thing is offered each day, they can chose it or not. I figure if they are being picky they are probably not hungry. I've never had anyone refuse snacks.

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:iagree: If they have the munchies, I tell them to eat a carrot, dry cereal, or a spoon of peanut butter. I actually found that they usually aren't really hungry...just munchy/bored. If I buy snacks, we eat them. We don't really need it, so I don't buy them.

 

We are spoonfuls-of-peanut-butter-people here, too.

We also snack on carrots, fruit and popcorn that I make in a big pot on our stove (not microwave popcorn). The popcorn is very inexpensive.

 

Also, I have stopped purchasing cereal. They are never, never, never full after eating a bowl of cereal (which only takes about 3 minutes). Their stomachs don't even have time to register with their brains that they've received food!

Edited by Andrea Lowry
plurals. :)
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