The Snack Experiment

My parenting is really just a huge social experiment. This week’s experiment has been…cutting out snacks.

I didn’t even know it was humane to NOT offer snacks. Truly. I went from feeding my baby milk every 3 hours…to solids or milk every 3 hours…to…um…what is supposed to be next? Right? Breakfast. Snack. Lunch. Snack. Dinner. Snack. Right?

Um. Yeah. Or, that’s how is has been in the Tessier Household. Until last week.

And this is the straw that broke Mama’s back. It was the constant whining, especially on outings. “Mom, I want a snack,” like every 10 minutes! Whatever we were doing, we had to stop to refuel. I was constantly digging out snacks for my ravenous kids.

They were always so hungry…except for meal times. And it broke my heart to discard all the healthy, organic, nutritious, delicious meals. So many yummy lunches and dinners…virtually untouched.

And here’s the kicker. I never would have figured it out if it had not been for a Face Book post (thanks Amber Rex) AND a comment on said post (thanks Melissa Griffin) letting me know that it was okay to not give my kids snacks. Yes, yes. Sometimes I do have to get permission to do things that are counter-cultural. Sigh.

Okay, but there’s more…and this is the really embarrassing part…we are trying to eat less processed foods. We try to follow and 80/20 model. 80% real food/20% grace food (you know…ya gotta live a little, right?) Anyhoo, guess how many of our snacks are real food? Hmmm. None. Okay, an occasional Lara Bar every now and again…or apple sauce…or cheese stick. But our go-to snacks are Cheez Its, gummy fruit chewy things, and cereal bars. So, about 80% of our snacks are processed goodies. And about 80% of our meals are nutritious, real foods. And guess which foods my children were eating all day? And which foods they declined? Without me catching on?

Well, this week has been deliciously different. My girls are eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of it. All of those lovingly prepared healthy foods…they are eating them. And they are happy. And the whining has stopped. Plus, I saved about $30 this week at the store because I didn’t buy a bunch of snacks. Plus prepping for outings is soooooo easy now.

Social experiment #99, “the snack experiment” has been a wonderful success! Bring on the next challenge.

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