"Snackboxes" Healthy Food for Kids

Feb 29, 2012




Here I share a method (that's worked for us!), of feeding your child, healthy food in kid sized proportions throughout the day, without tantrums, fights or constant pestering!

You can also use this style of food presentation for a healthy and rubbish free lunchbox for school.


Here are the 3 simple steps to give this method a try with pre-schoolers at home, with a more detailed explanation below the pictures.


1. Prepare the day's food (morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack) at the beginning of the day (not including breakfast and dinner)

2. Display it in a way that is appealing to the child and then show them and talk about their day's food

3. Put the "snackbox" on the bottom shelf of the fridge where your child can access it and let them choose what they eat and when they eat it.

Some examples of our "snackboxes"












Explanation:

My daughter, who has recently turned 3, has always been a food lover. This is generally a good thing as she will usually try new foods without too much resistance, but as she got older I was finding her becoming pickier, more demanding and it felt as though I was making her food, all day long.
On top of that, as she was eating (what felt like) constantly throughout the day, when it came to dinner time, we were struggling to get her to eat her dinner.

I decided it was time to give something new a try and thus, our "snackboxes" were born.

Now, in the mornings, as she eats a healthy breakfast, I prepare a "snackbox" of all the food that I want her to eat throughout the day. This includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Seeing ALL her food for the day is very exciting for my daughter.. and the better presented, the more excited she gets about it. (Yes, EXCITED about cucumber sticks, haha).
Before, if she declared her hunger and I suggested some carrot sticks or cucumber or the like, we had a big fight over it and she would refuse to eat them. She wanted what she wanted (and it wasn't what I wanted).

The next part was relinquishing the control of what she ate when. I already regained control over what she was eating, but letting her decide what (from the snackbox) she wanted to eat and when she wanted to eat it was a little scary at first, but worked wonders!

Yes, I was worried (as was my husband) that she would just eat the entire day's food before the day had barely started, but I made a point of talking about her choices and how if she ate all the food too early, she would end up very hungry as the day went on and that there was no more food until dinner.

At the beginning, I did have to remind her of this many times and suggest she wait a while longer between snacks. Over time she has started to get to know her own body better and eats more out of hunger now than just entertainment.. AND, BONUS she is now hungry for dinner and so almost always eats all of what is put in front of her. Yay!



For more snackbox and food for kids ideas
check out my "Food for Kids" page and 
my "Food for kids" Album on my Facebook Page


Hope it works for you!





Edit: I've had many enquiries about the products I am using.

The container pictured here is the Decor Tellfresh Quarters container.
On their website it is listed as "Pumped® Sandwich & Snack Twin Pack / Sandwich Plus"



You can source the food picks off ebay by typing in "Bento" (for all kinds of amazing products) or "Food Picks" (If you're just being specific).



How do you ensure your kids are eating the right foods and right amounts? Feel free to share any ideas you use in the comments.


Happy eating,
Debs :)



New Here? Subscribe to get all activities sent directly to you
Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Are you on Facebook? We are and we'd love to see you thereHey, we're also on Twitter now too. :) 




31 comments:

  1. This looks a really good idea - I have a 2 and a half year old that is very picky - he eats healthily but only his few foods and at the moment we're in a constant feed me cycle. Our fridge isn't toddler friendly so I'm not sure how well this would work but it's got me thinking. Do you also include dinner as well? or are you afternoon tea similar to an afternoon snack?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. This doesn't include breakfast or dinner. Afternoon tea is what we call an afternoon snack. So, this is just all her food between breakfast and dinner. (lunch and snacks) :)
      Let me know if you come up with anything...like a solution to a non-kid-friendly fridge. Is it too high? Could they have a little ladder or step stool? (We have a set of steps that my little shorty-pants uses to access the kitchen bench and parts of the fridge)
      Debs :)

      Delete
    2. PS- I've changed the wording a little to hopefully make it easier to understand. Thanks for that :)

      Delete
  2. I love your ideas! The pictures are beautiful. When my older girls were little they had access to our "snack cupboard" and helped themselves when they were hungry. They always did a great job of just getting enough and of the right stuff. I haven't done that with my younger ones. It seems like a crazy idea to use with them. But I like your idea of having little trays all prepared with healthy foods. I might have to try this!
    Just so you know I found you on we teach!
    Tonya
    www.stringskeysandmelodies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Tonya. Just realised it was your site that I just popped over to via the email alert sent by weteach. haha. :)
    I look forward to seeing all your musical ideas! Can't have enough :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are great! My boys love opening the fridge and picking something out all by themselves. The problem is, they pick random things, like a jar of soy sauce. It's not that they want to eat that, they're just independent little guys and want to do it by themselves. Then they think I'm crazy when I try to convince them they don't really want to eat/ drink a jar of soy sauce. This will be a fun solution to letting them be independent while providing appropriate snacks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha. Yes, this certainly eliminates that problem. I've had to make her some pretty strange sandwiches just to prove that those ingredients REALLY don't go together. lol

      Delete
  5. Great idea! Wow, I never thought of this approach when my kids were small. The arguing over food can get old. I love all your suggestions and even a link to more information. I can see mom blogging is a big help to others. Thanks so much for sharing, Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  6. This blog post is part of the weekly We're Bloggers video at: http://youtu.be/qIwRyYsC2eQ
    Thanks so much! Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this, but where did you get those snack boxes and cute food spears? Also I see a sandwich that looks like cream cheese and beets, is that right, does your daughter like that?
    Janine
    www.trueaimeducaiton.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Janine and thanks.

    I am in Australia and it is the decor "tellfresh quarters" box that you see in all the pictures. I just bought it from the supermarket (Woolworths). This is a link to their product listing (it has a new name now): http://www.decor.com.au/usage/viewproducts,id,14035,.aspx
    The food picks and grass dividers (all bento stuff) you can get from ebay (just type in Bento or Food Picks etc).
    A great Australian site I know that stocks great eating systems as well as the food picks and bento supplies etc is: http://www.lunchboxeswithlove.com

    Yes, beets (beetroot in Oz) and cream cheese sandwich. She loves beetroot :D She eats beetroot dip a fair bit with crackers as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this so much I just put a link to it in my blog post about getting kids to eat veggies. Thanks!

      Delete
  9. This is a great idea. I think I'm going to start trying this for my Priscilla. Thanks for linking up with From the Mouths of Moms. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Krissy! Hope it works for you like it has for us. Sanity Saver! :)

      Delete
  10. Loving these ideas! I'm trying to be more creative in the kitchen since my little guy will try just about anything. I saw that one sandwich has beets and cheese...would you mind telling me what your other sandwich fillers are? It looks like some have shredded veggies. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gina. The sandwich fillings shown here aren't the most creative... just what my daughter likes :) There is cheese and sweet mustard pickles, avocado w/ shredded cheese, vegemite, peanut butter, cream cheese and beetroot dip, beetroot and cheese. There are most ideas on my fb page under the picture album (Fun Food for Kids)and I go into detail there about all the contents of these and other snackbox ideas. Thanks for your comment and interest :)

      Delete
  11. There's a Bento lunch/snack "trend" going on over here in America. (Your in Australia, right? Or I could be wrong. LOL) We LOVE using these little divided plastic boxes for picnic or on-the-road meals! We're busy, busy, busy! I just make the meals the night before, pop them into a cooler, and we're off! Healthier and cheaper!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, yep, Australia. Well, it's certainly the better option for healthy, fresh and non packaged foods. We have a big "rubbish free lunch" thing that we try to promote in Australian schools so this type of thing is great for that. :)

      Delete
  12. Also found these here for Aussie customers..
    http://hsw.com.au/?product&id_prod=273&id_cat=1&id_dept=64

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for this Samone. I've not seen them at Howard's Storage World. Thanks for sharing. I'll update the post to include that link for people if they want. :) x

      Delete
  13. This is a great idea! I have been making muffin tin and Bento lunches, but a snack container would be fun too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a great idea I am having issues with my 5 year old. During breakfast and dinner its always a fight. He wants to just sit there and if he does put a tiny bite in his mouth he chews it forever. It can take an hour to eat 1 slice of toast and hes always late for school and its always drama I have no idea what to do.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can't wait to try this with my 2 1/2 yr old! I'm lucky with her loving good healthy food, my only problem is getting her to actually eat. She's very independent already so hopefully this should get her eating more! Thanks heaps for this fabulous idea :-D

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this idea for myself at work!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Debs I'm so totally doing this!! :) Thanks for the idea! :) xx Miss Daisy has just learned to open the fridge so perfect timing!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a great idea and teaching her to regulate her food intake over the day will be really helpful when she gets to school.. she'll be the only prep that doesn't try to eat her entire lunch box at recess! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, thanks Kate. As a prep teacher I certainly had that happen many times. Hopefully I'll have her nicely prepared :)

      Delete
  19. I love this idea. Kids always do better when they get to make their own decisions. You're not only helping her understand her body's needs, thus preventing obesity, but also helping her develop her own critical thinking skills. In the end, creativity always wins!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.