By Tawra Kellam
Kids eating habits could send you to the poor house! Between the pop-tarts, fruit chews, juices boxes and containers of cool applesauce it’s enough to spend the entire grocery budget in one week! Here are some tips from LivingOnADime.com to keep some more cash in your pocket.
The recommended amount of milk per day is 2 8 oz. glasses of milk. Stop giving your kids milk every time they ask for it. They don’t need more than the recommended amount.
The same is true of juice. 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is recommended. Did you know that for children under age five 3/4 cup of juice is one serving? How often do you just fill a glass with juice for your child to the top? Then they don’t drink most of it and you throw it away. Limit the amount of juice served to one or two small glasses a day and serve the rest of their fruit and vegetable in whole form.
French Toast Sticks – After cooking french toast cut each piece into 4 strips. Kids love to dip these in syrup.
Place some peanut butter and honey or corn syrup on a pancake and roll up for a snack. This is great for leftover pancakes.
Present oatmeal in a fancy glass such as a sundae dish. Place some granola, fruit, honey, brown sugar or nuts on top.
Stir any of the following into oatmeal.
- cinnamon and sugar
- brown sugar
- maple syrup
- chopped apples
- dried apples
- chopped peaches
- jam or jelly
- plain or fruit yogurt
- wheat germ
dark brown sugar and 1 drop of maple extract makes oatmeal taste just like the store bought instant oatmeal.
- Fresh fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Apples, cut into quarters, with core removed
- Popcorn balls
- Apples, quartered and cored with 1 tsp. peanut butter on each quarter
- Dried apples or bananas
- Oranges, peeled and quartered
- Pumpkin bread (page 46)
- Banana bread
- Zucchini bread
- Bananas sliced in half and spread with peanut butter
- Crackers and cheese
- Frozen grapes
- Crackers spread with peanut butter and jelly or jam
- Veggies with ranch dressing
- Celery sticks, spread with peanut butter
- Cherry tomatoes
- Strawberry leather
- Yogurt Popsicles
- Homemade granola bars
- Beef jerky
- Tortillas with cream cheese
- Peanut butter snacks
- Yogurt with fruit or wheat germ added
- Chocolate milk
- Bread or toast cut into quarters and spread with jelly, jam, peanut butter, spiced honey or honey butter
- Creamy Orange Shake
- Milk shake
- Fruit shakes
Have a snack sitting at the kitchen table for the kids when they come home from school. This way they won’t be grouchy from being hungry. This will also prevent them from digging though the kitchen cabinets looking for something themselves and messing up your neat, well-organized pantry. It is also the perfect time for you to sit and visit with them about their day at school.
To discourage bad snack habits, don’t buy unhealthy snacks or keep them in the house.
Present your snacks with a plate, place mat, napkin and maybe a flower from the garden. This way your snacks always look inviting.
Have jars sitting on the counter with sunflower seeds, raisins, granola, prunes or peanuts for the children. If they see healthy snacks they’re more likely to want them.
Tawra Kellam is the author of Dining On A Dime:1,000 Money Saving Recipes and Tips. (formerly Not Just Beans) Dining On A Dime will help you shop smarter, by cooking simpler meals and by making your own basic cleaning products and beauty aids. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com/ To order Dining On A Dime: Send $19.95 plus $3.50 shipping Living On A Dime, P.O. Box 4252, Wichita, KS 67204