I don't know about the rest of you, but I often had a vague idea of a looming need for something snack-y, hadn't planned for it, was up to my elbows in something messy in the kitchen or a lengthy edit of some homework paper of my own, and just threw the critters something moderately wholesome while they watched their afternoon TV show.
NO MORE. Our teatime plan has helped solve the late afternoon hunger strike as well as keep food out of the rest of the house. No more
- string cheese wrappers,
- animal cracker crumbs,
- apple cores,
- bits of sticky raisins,
- or the unrecognizable crumbly surprise
Our teatime no doubt sounds more elaborate than it really is. Essentially, at around 4:00 (when the kids' rest time ends), we have a small snack plus a beverage. Portion control is key here; I want them hungry by 6:30 (when we usually eat dinner), so I'm okay if they aren't "full" after their snack. And I make it feel like a treat--we often don't have dessert, so this is a fun way to bring in some sweet treats. I'll have to do this earlier on school days this coming year; the kids eat lunch at 10:30!! So, we'll probably have something slightly larger at around 2:00 or 3:00.
What do we eat? If I have time, we eat something that we can eat leftover for breakfast the next morning (I have more time in the afternoon to bake up some muffins than I do first thing in the morning!). I usually offer some sort of fruit, some sort of starchy thing, and/or some sort of protein.
What do we drink? Hot or iced tea, lemonade, juice, or water--really, whatever we have on hand or have time to whip up. I predict some hot chocolate or hot chai in the cooler months ahead.
Incidentally, this has become a terrific way to use up bits and pieces--waste not, want not! I use small plates and a few pieces of something go much further than they might at a meal time.
Here are some of our recent teatime snacks:
- Slice of French bread smeared with Nutella (this was a huge hit) (1 slice/kid)
- Small piece of coffeecake with some fruit (I got 16 pieces out of an 8x8 pan)
- Pistachio nuts and some fruit
- Muffin with some fruit
- Trail mix
- Graham crackers with peanut butter and brownie crumbs on top (2 squares/kid)
- Bread pudding
- Banana bread with cream cheese and some fruit
- Various snack cakes with some fruit
What will you serve at YOUR teatime?