You know those days when you simply cannot seem to shorten your list of stores to visit or errands to run? I had one of those days yesterday. As much as I didn’t like the idea, I spent the better part of the day driving from store to store with my 4 and 5 year-old boys. Two of those stops were grocery stores that carry some of the more unique ingredients that we use to make our food. Thankfully, those stores have little shopping carts that make it fun and interesting for the kids — maybe not the parents, but definitely the kids. The boys were troopers and didn’t complain one time throughout the day, but they did tell me when they were hungry! And who wouldn’t after multiple stops?
But how in the world do you prepare for a long day out and about with children who will be hungry and a long list of foods they cannot eat? Grabbing a burger and fries at the fast food drive thru is out of the question. And we don’t eat those little golden fish crackers. In the beginning, these realities were difficult to live with, but after shifting my thinking to whole food eating, life got easier. All of a sudden, multiple options became available to me, only because I now had the eyes to see them.
On the drive home yesterday, I found myself sitting at a stoplight remembering the days that I would have picked up our favorite gluten free chocolate granola bars from our favorite local grocery store. What then ran through my head was when I quit buying those granola bars. What was it that made me change my grocery store habits? It was realizing that there were better options out there — ones that didn’t include oats. I have learned to be simple in my approach toward the snacks we take with us. Just because we pay careful attention to the foods we eat doesn’t mean life has to be difficult. It can be just as easy as it was before I changed my thinking.
If we examine what we give our children for snacking, the list probably isn’t that long. It might include cheese sticks, golden fish crackers, applesauce pouches, and granola bars. When we realize that the list is relatively short, finding some new foods becomes an easier task. So what are some of those foods you can move toward? Here’s the list of what we use for our on-the-go snacking for our boys that might give you some ideas.
Go Go Squeez Pouches (these contain no additives but do have veggies)
Black Olives (cut in half)
Carrot & Cucumber Sticks
Turkey & Ham Roll Ups (rolled-up lunchmeat with no additives)
Trail Mix (made of nuts and dried fruit)
For many of you, a few of these items are already in your pantry. The others on this list might just work to substitute for the other ones that you’ve been wanting to remove from your shelf.
So whether your running errands around town or headed to the beach for the day, I encourage you to take the time to consider the ingredients in your on-the-go snacks. We all need quick go-to snacks, but what is one of those snack foods that you could substitute for a better one? For me personally, I should be asking myself, do I need a snack at all? But that’s a topic for another day.