Saturday, April 09, 2011

Car Snacks

One of the minor challenges we are currently working through is how to get home, get supper on the table and eat with as few meltdowns as possible.  My poor little lamb is more than ready to eat by the time we get home (normally 5:30ish) so just the time it takes for me to get supper on the table can be a challenge.  Even taking time to microwave leftovers is too much some days.DSC_0157

Norma reminded me that M3 used to take snacks in the car for her girls to eat on their way home from preschool.  In her case I believe it was to help keep her sleepy girls awake long enough to get home for naps and for me I’m trying to give Hannah a little something in her tummy to get us through supper prep.  Last week I began packing little snack packs for her and she gets one each night on our way home from daycare.DSC_7531

I must say that these seem to be helping out a lot!  We got through this week without a single supper prep meltdown.  Yay!!!

So far the things I’ve thought of putting in (a new combo each day) are:

- Cheerios - Life Cereal
- Shreddies - mini Bear Paws
- pretzels - raisins
- dehydrated apricots - dehydrated cranberries
- Goldfish - yogurt covered pretzels
- Smarties - yogurt drops
- fruit gummies - yogurt covered raisins
- chow mien noodles  

If you have any suggestions for other things I could put in Hannah’s snack packs they’d be greatly appreciated.  I’m still aware of choking so cautious about what I use and it also needs to be prepared in the morning and be able to sit in the car all day.

I’m hoping this little change will continue to help recharge Hannah enough for me to get supper on the table.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


  1. I keep a ziplock bag of saltine crackers in the car for this exact same reason. Sophie is starving when I pick her up from daycare. Driving home, then cooking dinner is just too much for her to take. She has always loved plain saltines and so they work wonders. Sometimes I also keep a ziplock of goldfish crackers, but she actually prefers the other. You're very sweet to try and mix it up for Hannah with different things. I am just sticking with the crackers for now since she's happy with them. LOL!

  2. Sounds like you are all prepared! The only other items I would have suggested were from Trader Joe's and I don't believe you have them up your way.

    What's a shreddie?

  3. Can she have mini marshmallows? My son loves them. You could even cut them up smaller if you need to.
    For things that can't sit in the car, can you leave the cup in her bag at school with directions for them not to give to her until you pick her up>? Or you could carry into work in your purse?
    I think the cracker stuff works well. My kids always liked goldfish, ritz bitz, cheeze its.

    I call 5 pm the "witching hour." I hate to use that word, but both my kids usually have melt downs at that time of day.

    Kim O

  4. oyster crackers

    cubes of bread

    potato stix


    Golden Grahams

  5. Fruit - apple, Banana, etc. Keep all day and are good for her. If possible, keep a bag of frozen peas and/or cheese at work or with daycare--they don't need to be cooked for kiddos to eat them. My kids LOVED snacking an them (the fruit and veggies) and I never minded b/c they were healthy options.

  6. garbanza beans, mini crackers with peanut butter or cheese (Nabisco), fruit, yogurt, cubes of cheese, anything with protein.

  7. I have you seen those little no spill snack cups, my daughter thinks they are great but still ends up giving her snack to the dog but that is another story :) good luck with the afternoon snack. Hannah is a doll even melting down.

  8. Perhaps a crock pot would help with timing. Also, meats would be cooked to "falling apart" stage and easy for Hannah to eat.

    Also, a cold meal already on a plate waiting in the 'fridge would be easy.
    (e.g. leftover chicken slices, ham, tuna or egg salad, baked beans, crudites/dip, yogurt)

    She must be hungry after a busy day. Soon she'll be able to help with meal prep. She really is adorable.

  9. I love reading your parenting tips, you're such a great mom! It sounds like you have a really good list already but the only thing I could think to add is either freeze dried fruit or dehydrated fruit, popcorn, or rice cakes. I'm sure Hannah is giving you her opinion on what she likes best :)

  10. I find that if I include a little bit of protein in Ava's snacks she does much better and less meltdowns or much shorter meltdowns. I try to give her some form of protein every 3 hours.
    I precook a package of bacon and leave it in ziplock bag in fridge so I can just pull out a couple of pieces if needed. I also use a handful of almonds or peanuts. Peanut butter or almond butter on rice crackers in little ziplock baggie. Ava is dairy free but cubes of cheese or yougurt tubes are another suggestion.
    I find the protein component has the best results.
    If you don't want to leave it in the car...maybe you could leave a little container in your daycare providers fridge and just take it with you when you pick up Hannah?
    Oh, the little individual packs of hummus are great protein source also...use pretzels for dipping...all kids love dipping.
    You need to order one of those car sheet trays that M3 has, we got one and are great for laying out their snacks on...they have a ledge all around so it would easly hold a little bowl of hummus or other dip for dipping veggies or crackers.
    Hope some of these suggestions help.
    Also if Hannah is still getting a bottle maybe try the warm bottle and a ten minute snuggle as soon as you get home prior to even starting supper...maybe she just needs her love tank filled up since the morning.

  11. Hi

    I would suggest that you give her apple slices or carrot or cucmber sticks (while you make dinner)once you get home. Than maybe you don't need to have any other snacks during the car ride. Those snacks contain natural water and makes up for the dry snacks that you keep in your car as well as give you more time to prepare a meal.


  12. My only observation is that you have a lot of refined sugar, carbs, and processed food here. So feeding her some of these things may lead to a breakdown later on in the night or the next day when she "comes down". What about string cheese, drinkable apple sauce, fresh fruits? I know that you're probably prepping the snacks ahead of time, but a banana could be quickly peeled, and berries can be frozen in the container the night before.

    Good luck,

  13. Looks awesome! You rock. As always. :-)

    You and I talked about the formula I used, in case you want it written down, I always put:
    - CRUNCH (this was easy, almost anything in the pantry)
    - PROTEIN (usually a nut, beef jerky, something with peanut butter, cheese, that kind of thing -- not sure which of those Hannah can have)
    - FRUIT (apple slices, dried fruit, blueberries, cut grapes)
    - TREAT (one or two MnMs or something small that they liked digging thru to find)

    Oh and I'd draw a note on the outside. I used bags, but you could always put a sticker or tiny note on the inside of them sometimes (not always, maybe one a week for a surprise)

  14. Sounds like you have lots of good ideas. Dinner prep time is hardest time of the day for us too. And trying to find snacks to tide little ones over until dinner but not ruin dinner can be tough! Especially when it's car snacks that need to be low mess and not a choking hazard. I end up having to give Alan snacks in the car a lot since he has to be dragged around to run errands with me. I think I might pre make some little snack packs like you to just keep in the car. Thanks for the great idea! Much better then trying to remember and plan to grab snacks everyday as we are rushing out the door!


  15. Mini muffins that are soft and wasy to eat are also great; my girls love oatmeal and carrot muffins...
    A mixture of cheerios, shreddies and other cereals makes for a yummy snack.

    My kids always love to eat small cubes (very small and not enough to be a choking hazard) along with crackers as a snack...

    And the all time favorite are yogurt drinks...

  16. Always have ziplock bags in my car to prevent meltdowns, but I do try to give her something with protein. Either in the car (cheese or nuts). Once at home, I take out a platter that I prepared on Sunday, cucumbers, carotts sticks, brocoli etc, crudites and dip. I will put some nuts in it. My best friends on the days I work. Crockpot. I even cook chicken in it. It is not roasted but it is beautifully cooked, warm and can go in a salad, hot chickens, tacos, etc. I specially love that I can put all the veggies with it and voilĂ ! Supper is served very fast and healthy. I do try also to cook at least one casserole on Sundays to have ready when I come home during the week. Preparation in the key. Keep up the great work.



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