The snack cupboard

Until fairly recently, my kids weren’t allowed snacks between meals. The only thing they were allowed (in fact, they were encouraged to have) was fruit. As far as I was concerned, if you were hungry you would eat a banana or an apple and if you wouldn’t eat one, you were just being greedy.

I know for many families, snacks work for them and have been part of their kids’ diets since weaning, but for us, they’ve never worked. I have two fussy kids (although the eldest is, thankfully, a lot less fussy now), who both had small appetites when they were little (my daughter still has one now) and if they ate snacks, they wouldn’t eat meals. So snacks didn’t exist.

There were rules. And they obeyed them.

We don’t eat between meals.

(We will gloss over Mummy’s early morning Green & Black’s habit. If they don’t see it, it doesn’t actually happen.)

But then something changed.

Puberty kicked in.

My eldest got less fussy and his appetite got bigger. He stopped following the rules about asking for food and started helping himself. And, as is always the case with slightly younger siblings, as soon as his brother started nicking food, so did my younger son.

And by ‘food’, I mean ‘biscuits’.

I tried to stop them and tried to limit it, but I was fighting a losing battle. I told myself it was probably OK as my eldest was on his growth spurt (he never mentions the fact that he’s now noticeably taller than me, oh no, not at all… ) and my younger son had been looking thin and gaunt.

So I turned a blind eye.

Snacks, Biscuits, Crisps, Sons

Then the biscuits started running out. So I bought more biscuits. So they ate more. My husband complained that the cupboard was too full.

My eldest complained that he never had crisps in his packed lunch (he never has – I took all those saturated fat messages on board when he started school). So I bought crisps. For him. Just a couple of times a week.

That became every day. The younger two wanted crisps too.

The cupboard got more full.

The kids kept eating. Then they complained on Wednesdays (Tesco order day) when the supplies ran low.

I heard myself saying the words my Mum and Dad said to me: ‘If we bought more, you’d eat more’ and ‘When they’ve gone they’ve gone’.

Now, just as when they were babies and toddlers, I won’t leave the house without some Tuc biscuits, Belvitas or Hula Hoops. My kids are hungry ALL THE TIME. They should snack more healthily, but what is more convenient than biscuits and crisps?

I’ve also discovered myself that Tuc biscuits and Hula Hoops are very tasty and perfect for that mid-afternoon lull.

How did this happen? How did we become the family with the bulging snack cupboard?

Damn you, puberty!

Snacks, Crisps, Biscuits

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I never realised this happened! They would love my cupboard, we hardly touch the biscuits or choc and they always end up going out of date, yet we get them in just in case someone comes round that does eat them. (Same with coffee!!)

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    • Wow, they would be straight round your house! My mum keeps biscuits and ice creams in just for my kids. They’re straight in the cupboards as soon as they arrive!

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  2. I have often heard it said how much teenage boys can eat, and as Max heads in towards 12 I am starting to experience it for myself. He eats massive healthy dinners, a third bigger than mine and still has snacks later on. He seems to be always hungry. Luckily he loves his fruit and veg, but we too have a snack cupboard and in the summer holidays I am struggling to keep it stocked! Growing boys eh!!

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    • Growing boys are a nightmare to fill! My eldest has meals the same size as mine (and I have big meals), but my younger son can’t manage as much at mealtimes. They start grazing again almost as soon as they’ve finished eating!

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  3. lol, I hear you loud and clear, it was difficult to monitor who was stealing/eating what and we were always running out of stuff for pack lunches so I started hiding the snacks and limiting them, then hubby started to complain there was never any snacks in the house for him to eat. Since the kids left home, we now only buy the snacks we like to eat, which for me is dark choc and hubby it’s mixed nuts. The teen is here at the moment so I stocked up with all his favourites (guilt trip) he ate them all within a week and turned down proper food, so I’ve given him a budget for each week and he has to walk to the shop to by them himself and in this heat he’s taken to actually making himself sandwiches for lunch and eating dinner with us.

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    • I like your style! Kids can definitely overdose on the snacks! My snack of choice is dark chocolate too, although those Tuc biscuits are surprisingly addictive!

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  4. Our cupboard is bursting with this kind of crap too but I’m not sure what to replace it with! Any ideas? I’m suffering the consequence of eating way too many biscuits and crisps too. I know it’s not healthy but when they get to a certain age, I’m not sure that you can keep depriving them of this stuff and controlling them. If you’ve got any tips, please let me know!

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    • Glad it’s not just me! I have no idea what to replace it with and would also be grateful for any ideas!

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  5. I’m already worrying about Cheeky Chap; he is a constant snacker as well as eating decent, balanced meals. Yet sadly he doesn’t seem to get any bigger and remains rather small for his age! X

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    • He obviously needs the food and that’s obviously his natural size. The boys have friends who are smaller and thinner than them who eat more than them. My boys must need the snacks as they’re not getting any fatter, they’re obviously just growing fast! x

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  6. It’s looking fir things that are lower in sugar and calories . An apple doesn’t quite cut it with teens always

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    • Sadly it doesn’t! My boys eat a lot of savoury biscuits, so they’re probably reasonably low in sugar, but I still think they eat too many of them!

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  7. Oh yes I know all about the snack cupboard. Luckily mine don’t help themselves yet but they do to fruit which is ok. I don’t buy crisps because I end up eating them but i do buy biscuits and I bake quite regularly so there is always something for them to have. I have had the same conversation about crisps because i have never put them in lunch boxes and according to my sons, they are the only two children in the world without crisps. I’m sure I will give in soon too.

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