I want a snack. I’m hungry. Snaaaaaaack. Throughout the summer, these phrases uttered in high-pitched voices rang constantly in my ears, day in and day out.
As my son sidled his way to the pantry for some crackers or a granola bar, I met him with a knowing gaze and my standard response: If you’re really hungry grab a fruit or vegetable from the fridge. Kids, because mama loves you, she’s not going to let you eat packaged foods all the livelong day. Granola bars and the Nature Valley almond butter cups my daughter adores have their place, for sure. Like when we are on the run and there is no fresh food available to us. But at home, we have a fridge and thus we will eat fresh foods out of it.
This August, my kids started kindergarten and third grade, and an otherworldly hush fell over our house. I packed their lunches and walked them to the bus stop. And I was welcomed by my new friend, silence. I love my kids so much, but I have appreciated the respite from feeding all the people all day every day.
But when my daughter announced that she could bring two snacks a day, and my son chimed in that he could bring one, my eye began to twitch. Yes, the quick and easy solution would be to allow them to bring several packaged snacks in their backpacks each day, since each class’ lunchboxes were stored separately and refrigeration wasn’t available. But this mama wasn’t going down that easily.
So I jerry-rigged this interesting and super classy contraption. Yes, that is a reusable sandwich baggie with a plastic bowl and an ice pack stuffed inside so I could send fresh cut-up fruit. I kind of felt like I was winning in my own health-nut control freak way, but I’ll readily admit it was laughable. I was sure there had to be a better snack-time solution.
So naturally, I meandered aisles of Target, and found that indeed, a company, Fit & Fresh, had done the legwork for me and created an actual product. I purchased a few 2-cup containers and went on my merry way. Later, Fit & Fresh offered to send me some more supplies to help a mama out with all my away-from-home mealtime dilemmas. I selected the Bento Box Lunch Set with Insulated Carry Bag, the 1-cup containers with ice packs and the healthy food chilled snack container.
Fit & Fresh food containers have an ice pack at snaps in and out of the lid, allowing my kids to take fresh fruits and veggies for snacks, separately from their lunch boxes.
Several weeks into the school year, fruit such as clementines, oranges, apple slices and berries are among their favorite snacks. Today, my son brought apple slices, carrot sticks and homemade almond butter for dipping. And let’s be real, my daughter still loves her almond butter cups, but I feel as though at least now we’re able to strike a balance between packaged and fresh foods, and that’s fine with me.