I thought I would follow up on snack boxes post earlier this week, as I have had a few people enquire with me about how I have it work for us so Cohen isn't eating everything in one go, as well as a few other points. So if you're interested in giving these a go here are some things you might find handy to know that I've learnt so far.
Firstly be sure to pop over and see Deb at Learn With Play at Home, as she as an extensive post of pointers that has assisted her.
So here are my notes.....
* I provide more than enough options or the day, so it makes it easy to gently reinforce that what he has in his boxes is for the rest of the day until dinner time. He hasn't eaten it all in one go yet.
* I provide a lunch and other snack options, with that being said if he decided to eat his lunch option in the morning so be it, he has other healthy options to choose from for the rest of the day. I'm not really concerned, as long as he is eating throughout the day, from the healthy options (of course there is a rare treat in there) I don't think I have much to worry about.
* I don't include drinks ie. poppers, juice etc. As we only really offer water and milk, which I will assist him with if his cup or drink bottle has emptied.
* I make up my snack boxes whilst Cohen has breakfast or plays quietly in the kitchen. When I'm finished I show him his options for the day and explain them to him. At which point he will ask questions about anything different or new.
* You don't need any special supplies to do snack boxes but I'm sure most families with children these days are going to have cookie cutters, cupcake patties or silicone moulds. But for the record I picked my food picks up at a Japanese Grocery Store and the silicone moulds at a $2 shop. I picked up all this stuff and more last year when I was trialling some bento and muffin tin snacks for Cohen.There are heaps of bento supplies available online too if you care to have a search around. In fact you could also do snack boxes in a muffin tin if you really wanted to.
* I keep the snack boxes in the fridge down the bottom shelf and Cohen just let's me know he is wanting something from his snack box and goes and helps him self.
* I have found starting these snack boxes now at nearly three years old is working a lot better than my bento attempts last year, because of his ability to understand how it works. With that being said I'm trying some mini snack boxes for Sarah, which is basically a mixed box of goodies in finger food style.........great for those baby led solid families.
Other than the points above one of the biggest benefits I'm finding for me personally is that the use of the snack boxes is allowing us to be much more organised and free with our days. If I decide at short notice I'd like to take the kids out for an impromptu outing, I can just grab the snack boxes and an ice brick and our small esky and pop it in the car and we're right to go for the rest of the day. No worries about feeding, whining kids whilst out or resorting to takeaway because of an unplanned outing throwing our day out. Overall I'm loving it, we're getting out and doing more.
I hope some of these points have helped you.