To Snack or Not to Snack

18 months old

One of the more influential books I read that shaped my parenting style is “Bringing Up Bébé” by Pamela Druckerman. She describes how French children seem to have much more pleasant mealtimes where they eat everything put on their plate: fish, asparagus, spinach. She attributes one of the reasons for this mealtime wonder to limiting the availability of snacks for the kids. They had one snack a day. After school. That’s it.

A great idea! Since then, I’ve decided “not to snack”, as in not make snack type foods available or accessible. Nessness has only been getting one snack at 3:30pm. I also didn’t want to create a habit where she would rummage into her diaper bag to access mummums or cheerios whenever she fancied. I don’t care that it’s fortified with great minerals and vitamins. If she’s grazing on snacks all day, she’s probably not going to want (or can finish) a proper meal where her main nutrients should be coming from.

The snack she does receive is not fish crackers. I think one of the things that turned me off baby/children snacks was how processed it was. The baby health guide recommends at least two food groups for a snack so most days it’s fruit and bread or fruit and cheese. Or all three if she’s really hungry. We generally let her eat as much of this snack as she wants…leaning towards more fruit than bread or cheese. And she’ll still eat a full cup of dinner (at least three food groups, majority vegetables).

I am thinking to when she’s in school and everyone has a snack for recess….but cross that bridge when I get there. It’ll be sooner than I think.

How do you manage the snacks in your home?


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