We checked in with Andrea Boerigter aka The Speech Mom on how she’s handling our current state of #quarantinelife. Working from home while figuring out what to feed your kids while home schooled.
About 100 times a day I wonder if my kids eat this much while they are not on quarantine. The first few days they were on full feed. They finished an entire box of Chicken in a Biscuit crackers and polished off a bag of Sour Cream and Onion Sun Chips (yikes!). And then they both naturally refused dinner – because of course they were not hungry.
If I left them to their own devices, they would be snacking all day (so would I). However, this isn’t a great habit to allow them to fall into, so like I would any of my patients – I put my children on an eating schedule. I don’t just recommend doing this because I want my kids to eat whatever conglomeration of meat and vegetables I made for dinner, but also because research shows children who graze all day take in 50% calories than children who have scheduled meals and snacks.
Scheduling meals and snacks does not have to be a whole big thing. I would love to tell us all that we should be sitting around the table and eating family style meals. But that is in the normal world where Dad isn’t on a conference call from 11-12:30 and Mom isn’t finishing a report that is due in 20 minutes. Now is the time to be flexible.
Meals are scheduled as they always are. This is the easy part. You already know when your child eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take those times and look at where the gaps are. Put three snack times into those gaps. Being flexible with these snacks by 20 minutes or so is great. Being flexible with snacks by 1 or 2 hours – not so great.
Be open and clear with your child about snack time and what their options are. Tell them even before they are done with their meal when they will be offered a snack. “When you are done with your breakfast, you can bring your bowl to the sink. You can have a snack at 10.” Now they know. This is also a great way to make them realize they better eat what they were served – because they are not going to be grazing until lunch.
As far as what kind of snacks you are going to be offering – be realistic…for yourself and for your child. Goldfish and Pirate’s Booty is easy and quick. But all of us would love to see them eat a veggie or fruit for a snack occasionally.
Instead of having to prep a healthy snack during snack time, make some ahead of time. Think outside of the box. Pre-bagged chopped veggies set next to the bottle of Ranch dressing is easily accessible and healthy. The same goes with fruit. But getting creative with items you already have in your house keeps your kids satisfied with a healthy pre-made snack without ever interrupting your conference call.
Here is a list of healthy snacks I often have on hand for my kids. I prefer to put them in bags or containers that are ready for them to grab and go – so we don’t have to worry about serving sizes.
- Boiled eggs (take the shells off for the littles, but your older kids can do it themselves)
- Chopped strawberries and pineapple
- Yogurt tubes
- Cheese sticks
- Celery with peanut butter
- Frozen banana bites in yogurt
Click here to read more about how Andee, The Speech Mom Encourages Adventurous Eating at the Kids’ Table
Are you working remotely and home schooling kiddos? Do you have any tips on what to feed your kids while home schooled? Leave a comment below!