Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Taming the Snack Beast:Playground Grazing

We often find ourselves in the playground in the late afternoons, more so now, as summer is almost upon us and the days are longer. This means that Izzy and his pals are all hankering for plenty of snacks to tide them over until dinnertime.

I usually try to bring along healthyish options like apples, bananas, crackers, granola bars and Dutch pretzels. Today I only had pretzels and crackers in my bag and hoped they would do. Izzy kept pestering me for the pretzels and I was doling them out quite slowly because I didn't want him to eat too many or else he wouldn't have room for dinner.

Meanwhile, he spied his friend T. who was munching on a bag of some cheesy looking crackers. Izzy sidled over to him and suddenly he was dipping his hand into the cracker bag too. I couldn't help but eye those crackers suspiciously but they turned out to be Late July Organic which are certainly fine.

But it wasn't over. A few minutes later, another bag appeared and soon the twosome were busily crunching upon some kiddy cookie/cracker. Would this snack-fest ever end? How many crackers can a boy stuff into himself? I tried to keep from intervening but when a Ziploc bag of cheese puffs appeared I decided it was time to leave the park. When Izzy questioned why he couldn't eat the "cheese peanuts" (indeed they do look like packing peanuts, don't they?), I had to explain that these foods were not the healthiest things for his body and that if he only ate those, he wouldn't have room for the important foods that helped his body grow.

He protested and said the cheese puffs were not nasty or junk. He wanted to know why his friends could eat them. I said that each family has different rules and eats different foods. I didn't mind if he had some of these snacks sometimes but all at once was too much.

T.'s mom, P., tried to calm me by telling me that the "cheese peanuts" were some organic variety. True that organic snacks are in certain ways better than the ordinary type but are they healthy in such large quantities? So many processed snack foods, even organic ones, are empty calories.

Suddenly I find myself snack-challenged. I need to come up with a barrage of healthy, EASY and enticing snacks for us to take to the park. I envision myself schlepping a tray with vegetables and dip...I hope it doesn't come to that.


Rebecca said...

That's funny that you compared the cheese puffs to packing peanuts; from working in retail I know that some packing peanuts are actually made from the same material that cheese puffs are made from, minus the powdered cheese coating, and are in fact edible, if you call it that. I would agree with you that even "organic" cheese puffs are far from a healthy snack, compared to, say, raisins or baby carrots. But I do remember how children get very hungry in the late afternoon; thank goodness those days are over.

Izzy's Mama said...

Rebecca: The funny thing is that it was Izzy, not me, who called them "cheese peanuts"..I thought that was hilarious!

Izzy's Mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.