Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Snack Mom dilemma

Since Carbon started attending the little Sudbury school I've had to pack him a lunch every day. We've been able to do that without compromising our disposable plastic rule, because of my collection of reusable containers. Waste-free lunches are possible!

But what about when I am the "Snack Mom"? Carbon's baseball team has a snack schedule for both practices and games, and I can see that this is going to become more of a part of my life. What do you hand out? So far, Carbon has received those individual cheese and cracker snacks (can't eat that - not gluten free) and a bag of cheetos, and also always a little Caprisun drink pouch. These are not healthy snacks, they don't follow our dietary needs, they are in no way ethical, organic, or local, and the excess packaging generates all this waste!

(I am wondering if I should start collecting those Caprisun pouches he gets handed and keep them to sew a sunshade or a lunch bag or something).

I've had two turns at snack so far, and I brought organic apples and bananas for one and organic granola bars (but in individual wrappers) for the other. And juice boxes - Carbon says I have to bring juice boxes. I got low-sugar, organic juice in a paper box instead of those pouches, but still - argh!

The fruit was received fairly well, the granola bars were not (many kids told me "But I don't like this kind of food!" when I handed it to them). Do I just always do fruit? How can these quick and portable snacks be healthy and not generate all this waste? Ideas?


  1. Wow... that's kind of a tough one, especially when you are dealing with a mix of eating styles and diets. Would it be safe to propose some sort of guidelines that all the parents could follow (without ticking everyone off)? Could the kids just bring a steel water container and the parent on duty provide fresh, cool H2O refills? I don't think there is anything wrong with being the mom who always brings fruit. You might even inspire some of the other parents to do the same. As for the kids choosing not to eat the snack you bring... if they are hungry enough they will take it and eat it. The first easy no wrapper food that came to my mind was a hard-boiled egg. I'm thinking that wouldn't be too popular!

  2. If you are expected to go along with Capri Suns and Cheetos on their snack days, the other families can experience something outside of their comfort zone on your snack days, although the fact that fresh fruit is outside of their comfort zone is just sad. I'd keep up with the fruit, but otherwise you may need to keep providing juice boxes for now if it's important to Carbon. For what it's worth, Kidz Love Soccer requires the kids to bring water bottles, and snack is up to the individual. That's really the way it should work, especially now that dietary restrictions are so prevalent.