Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Filling In The Cracks

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All of our children are big eaters, but they are just lately growing into BIG big eaters - which means their size = greater volume in food consumption which = more $ per grocery shopping trip.
Not to mention lots and lots of servings (seconds, thirds, and sometimes fourths and fifths!), plus cutting into little pieces for the smaller big eaters.
All this takes up the time I could be joining my family for the meal.

One tried and true success I've had, I like to call: Filling in the Cracks.

When I shop for groceries, I stock up on baby carrots, apples, bananas, and any other low cost, healthy-ish food item that I can buy in large quantity.

Then, I ration the main course ie. each child gets one whole peanut butter and jam sandwich at lunch time.
After they have eaten their allotment, they may fill in the cracks with as many carrots (or fill in the blank) as they like, until they are completely full.

I like this method because I don't fix sandwich after sandwich after sandwich... and if they are eating just to eat, I soon find out because they won't go for carrots at that point.
If they ARE still hungry after their main serving of food, they happily chomp away at the healthy "crack filler-upper" food until every last crack is full!

For all you with expertise I would sure like to hear other food ideas for filling in the cracks of many big eaters.
Lead me to your site if you don't comment here!

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Photo Momma said...

What a good idea! I will have to remember that as my children get a little older.

Mommy Reg said...

I do that too. Except for the growing boy who won't stop growing, I do make him 2 sandwiches right off the bat. Then I slice the fruit up for them. I do that so that there is less waste. They are more likely to eat more fruit if it is sliced and then I don't end up with 4 half eaten apples. I can use 2 apples and split the slices amongst them. This saves a lot of money.

Jenny said...

You are an inspiration. Look at all you are accomplishing. Cutie patooty pics of the children. All this blogging. Recovering from a huge physical ordeal. I'm perty sure I'd still be whining into my ice-chips. Good for you MommaBug!

Great post by the way. Hungry children are not happy children. And the sandwich count is a really good reason for learning to bake bread at home. Very healthy and tons cheaper.

Lady Jess said...

That's a good idea. We'll try that. ;)

princessmama said...

We do carrots and apples as fillers too. "If you're still hungry you can have a carrot" is often heard in our house. You are right about that being a good indicator of whether they are really hungry or just wanting to munch. I can't count the times I've heard a sigh in response to the carrot offer :-)

petersonclan said...

I also have the rule that no one can have seconds until everyone has eaten their firsts. That was survival so I could eat something before it was all gone. Now they can help themselves, and it is much easier.

Katrina said...

I hear you about the sandwiches! It can get pretty tedious making one after another, after another and hardly getting time for myself to eat! What a great idea about the crack filler-uppers... I'm gonna have to try this... my boys are SUCH big eaters!

Diane said...

Great idea Analene! Though I don't have kids to practice this with...I'll stash it away in my memory bank. Love to you!

Momma Bug said...

I don't know Diane, it might work for husbands too;-)
I don't know if I'd be brave enough to try enforcing it!!