Healthy Family Snacking

Healthy Family Snacking TipsWhat up snackers?! Who doesn’t love a good snack break? I know my house is a big fan of the snack because my kids’ favorite meal is something we call “Snackin’ Dinner”… We spread a tablecloth on the floor of the family room, put a movie on, and chow from a giant platter of snacks: nuts, seeds, olives, chopped veggies, crackers, hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese pieces, edamame beans, pretzels, you name it!

Well, in this week’s podcast (episode 5–woohoo!), we talk about Healthy Family Snacking, to help you get you started on making sure snacking doesn’t take over your life, interrupt the stellar nutrition of your meals, or ruin the serenity of your kitchen.

Here are a couple teaser tips:

  1. Let kids be independent with their snacks within your healthy guidelines. It’s ok if they make a mess! This gives them some freedom when they may not have much choice at mealtime.
  2. Set a “no snack window” timeframe before meals when snacking isn’t allowed. It could be an hour, 2 hours, or even 3 hours before a meal (and by meal, I probably mean dinner). Announce that snacking is about to close and let the wildlings go kookoo. Then, hopefully they’re still hungry for the next meal thanks to the window.
  3. Establish a specific snack space in your kitchen so kids can help themselves. We have a dedicated snack bin in the fridge for individual peanut butter and hummus in these condiment cups for dipping pretzels or veggies, plus a doubled-up snack drawer tower which is filled with individual applesauces, seaweed snacks, packs of nuts, granola bars, larabar minis, kind bars, individual pretzel packs, and other nutritious options. The tower sits on the floor of the pantry so it can be reached by all the kids and they know to grab a variety and not just 6 granola bars:

What are your snack hacks? Share in the comments!

xo

 

Feeding Picky Kids: Tips and a New Podcast

feeding picky kids healthy foods

Before having kids, I was an expert dietitian on feeding picky kids… or at least I thought I was! “Keep trying, offer them ONLY healthy things and they’ll have no choice but to eat the good stuff, they just WON’T go hungry, and all kids eventually love asparagus…” Did I really say all that? Thank gosh the universe gave me 4 kids to put me in my place. For real.

Check out this week’s Healthyish podcast episode on Feeding Picky Kids (Episode 4) where Corinne and I share our picky kid tips for making it through the meal without eyebrow-smeared peas and half the meal shoved under the chair cushions. Plus, Corinne talks about her love affair with her new monster mini muffin tin found here which may revolutionize baking in your household.

We share tips on leading by example, deconstructing meals for the whole fam, offering multiple veggies, and keeping healthy alternatives on hand for when you just have to give in. Here’s one more tip for feeding dinner to picky kids that we didn’t mention on the podcast, and it’s actually one of my favorites!:

No Food After 3:01 PM

Yes, they’re hungry and cranky, so feed them at 3PM, but no later. That 3PM snack can be crackers, cheese, hummus, a granola bar, whatever, but it must be done by 3:01. Do whatever you can to distract them, just drink liquids, or maybe chow on some apple slices or grapes between 3:01 and 6:00 so that they actually show up to the table in need of calories. Doesn’t everything taste better when you’re starving? I didn’t eat lunch until 2PM today and I couldn’t be bothered to heat it up, so I had cold veggie chili. I kid you not, the best meal I’ve eaten in my whole life. See?

Share your favorite picky kid tips in the comments below and let us know what you want to hear in future episodes!

In deconstructed cherry tomatoes,

Jen & Corinne

Annie’s Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins: Low-Carb, High-Love

Hi Bakers! Team Reilly has been koo-koo lately to say the least. Our youngest child Annie (age 2 3/4) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in February, joining the ranks with our son Jake. Just like Jake, she was diagnosed at home when I got worried about the fact that she peed her pants twice in a row and was developing a yeast rash in her diaper area (she still wears a diaper at night). Her fingerprick blood sugar after eating a bowl of dried cranberries was 418. Luckily, her A1C was 7.8% and according to our doc, we caught the diabetes earlier than any other patient (Yay? Not necessarily a claim to fame that I was striving for!). And since she had only trace ketones, we put her to sleep and headed to the hospital the next day. Once we saw Annie’s high blood sugar, Jake (age 7 now) immediately took Annie to “Diabetes Camp” in the basement and secretly whispered to me that he’s glad he’s no longer the only kid in the family with type 1. On the bright side, these 2 kids will have each other for the long haul and that gives us amazing comfort.

While I dreaded the possibility of another type 1 diagnosis in our family, Annie has been unphased and was immediately put on a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor and the Omnipod insulin pump making our lives incredibly easier and making it so that she basically doesn’t even know she has diabetes. In fact, check out my blog on type 1 diabetes on KrisCarr.com – it was written before Annie’s diagnosis, but talks about the tricks and tips that have helped us with Jake’s diabetes management. And apparently the universe congratulated us in February for our mad skills in managing diabetes! Yikes.

So! Inspired by Annie and her minuscule needs for insulin right now, I created these mini muffins that she (and we!) could snack on all day long without needing insulin. They are full of healthy ingredients, taste amazing, are gluten-free, and go down really easily. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Annie’s Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Makes 30

2 bananas, mashed (can be fresh or thawed frozen)
1/3 cup Smart Balance or Earth Balance margarine, melted
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp ground flax seed meal
1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup Swerve sweetener (Erythritol, found cheapest at Vitacost)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Lily’s mini chocolate chips (Stevia-sweetened, but regular dark choc chips work too)

Mix all ingredients together except chocolate chips. Once mixed, stir in the chips and pour into lightly sprayed mini muffin tins 2/3 of the way, or regular muffin tins half way.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from tins (if you can!).

Per muffin: 70 calories, 6 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber (2.6 g net carbs), 1 g sugar, 2 g protein. 

Now I want to hear from you! Post your favorite low-carb snacks and recipes — Annie and her blood sugars will thank you!

xo, Jen