When people hear I’m a Mom of three Boys, one of the first things they say to me (after, “are you going to try for a girl?” of course) is “Wow – I can’t imagine how big your grocery bill is.”
It’s true. Boys are hungry. I’m not saying girls aren’t, but WOW, boys really truly constantly always perpetually seem to be asking for more food. I asked a whole bunch of fellow M.O.B.s if they agree, and the most common response was a resounding “OMG, YES!” It always seems to be snack time.
When I became a mom, I pictured myself as one of those moms in the Tyson or Totino’s TV ads, calmly appearing in a room filled with my sons and their friends joyously playing video games, and delighting them with delicious appetizers and snacks.
But the reality is more like working a long shift at a short order grill. I imagine I look like a worn down octopus, slinging snacks with all eight arms, working the toaster oven with one, the microwave with another, opening chips with another, slicing fruit with two more, prepping a sandwich with the others . . . you get the idea. The second I bring them something, another kid is asking for something else, and then by the time I get that, the first kid is hungry again. Snack time. All the time.
Hear me out – I’m not stupid. I’m full of common sense, have been a Mom of Boys for 14 years now, and I’m book-smart with a Master’s Degree and all. I know how to present one and only one snack for all the kids at once. I know how to put grab-and-go snacks out for them to, well – grab and go and enjoy without saying “Mom! More snack, please!” But I’m also smart enough to know that sometimes, one snack does not fit all — and I can relate to craving salty or sweet and not wanting the opposite when I’m really wanting one vs. the other. (Side story: I am forever grateful that my mom has always understood the true need for chocolate. We used to go on random evenings to a grocery store to by a Cadbury milk chocolate bar when we both absolutely just had to have one! Now I want one. Maybe I’ll go tonight.)
The good news is that my boys are at the age now where they are much more capable of getting their own snacks. Phew. I only work an 8-hour shift at the short-order grill now, and I firmly state when The Kitchen is (drum roll) CLOSED. They can pour their own cereal, toast their own bread, heat up their own pasta in the microwave, grab their own granola bar . . . and of course sneak their own chocolate at the crack of dawn. (I don’t condone this. But I did it as a kid, too. OK, . I still do. YOLO, people!)
So, some things have gotten easier. But one new challenge is that when they open a box of crackers or a bag of popcorn or chips, in the off chance that they don’t gobble it all up at once, they leave the bags open (note: Husband Does This, Too) . . . and when it’s snack time, nobody wants stale snacks. My mom has always said “you can never have too many bowls” in her kitchen, and for me, we can never have too many chip clips. Check out our new M.O.B. Truths clips helping to keep our boxes and bags sealed. (Available for sale soon! Message me on social media or at email@example.com if interested! Magnetic backing so they’re perfect for holding messages on the refrigerator, too!).
Looking for snack time ideas to keep your kids snack-happy?
I asked fellow Moms of Boys for their kids’ favorite snacks — here’s what I found out. Hopefully there will be some helpful reminders to bring a certain snack back into rotation, or even some new items for you! What would you add to the list?
- Chips – Lay’s Chips, Pringles crisps, and Miss Vickie’s Salt ‘n Vinegar
- Pirate’s Booty — asked for by name, and also often referred to as just “Booty!” which can be “interesting” in public
- Cheez-its – another favorite asked for by brand name. As a marketer, I say congrats to Sunshine Brands and Kellogg’s on that.
- Popcorn -sweet, salty, delicious. A friend recently brought this bag of Smartfood to our house and I thought “gross.” But OMG it was beyond delicious – the perfect sweet and salty combo — and now we’re all basically addicted.
- Fruit — It’s so nice to see this one on the list — a healthy alternative to the many other delicious but a little less “good” stuff on the list. I think I’m buying fruit for the week . . . and my boys eat it in one day.
- PIzza!!! (My boys have gone through the “scrape all the cheese off” phase and the “more cheese, please” phase. How about yours?)
- Corndogs. Our favorites are actually a meatless kind, but nobody needs to know!
- Pistachios. They’re fun, they’re salty, they’re delicious. And annoying when your husband chews them too loud.
- Cheese sticks
- Pizza. YES, it’s on this list twice. It’s a go-to favorite for so many! If not pizza, pizza rolls!
- Leftover . . . anything!!! Especially leftover Christmas cookies in the few weeks after the holidays!
- Cheese & Crackers
- Peanut butter crackers. Or, if you’re like us and have a peanut allergy in the house, try Wow Butter! It’s the closest alternative to tasting like peanut butter that we’ve found!
- Granola bars! Kind Bars, Nature Valley, Quaker, RX, Clif Bars, Z Bars. What are your favorites?
A lot of those are pretty routine things you think of when you think of snacks, right? Here were some of the less common but equally delicious answers — and I’m glad to hear them so I can put them on my list.
- Spinach Artichoke dip
- Smoothies from Starbucks (or homemade!)
- And one of my favorites — Cereal all day!
Looking for more ideas? Always, right? Because these kids ALWAYS want snacks! Ask and you shall receive — more snack ideas here.
HAPPY PERPETUAL SNACK TIME TO YOU!!!