Do your kids have a snack after school and if so, what do they usually have?  AND, when do you usually eat dinner? We tend to eat dinner too late (a failing of mine) and lately we've had some arguments about after school snacks which are a really stupid thing to argue about….

Advice and thoughts welcome….

14 thoughts on “Question for Other Parents

  1. If I don’t feed my child directly after I pick him up from after-school, he goes into a blood sugar dip which results in VERY bad behavior, alternating with tears, whines, and general crabbiness. I have tried–to no avail–to give him complex carbs, nuts, protein. He goes straight for the sugar. Our compromise is a piece of fruit and/or granola with plain yogurt, sometimes pretzels, sometimes a pbj. Sometimes the “snack” becomes more dinner-sized, but I think that’s OK too. He still sits with us at the table around 7 or 7:30 and picks at his food (unless it’s after swim lessons, then he eats everything but the tablecloth), and that’s good enough for me. He probably shouldn’t have anything too heavy right before bed, anyway. I like to “frontload” him with a breakfast of two eggs, toast and milk or hot chocolate, and sometimes fruit.

  2. I usually made it something like yogurt, fruit, cheese (yeah, the string cheese in packages) or apples with peanut butter, stuff like that before I sent them out to play. When they were young like yours still are, I usually got dinner on the table by 7pm. Reid once ate a quart of blueberries and ten peaches at a sitting (not at the same time, though), the kid loves fruit.
    Now we usually eat about 8 or so, but they are much older now, if they’re even home. I go pick him up from ISU shortly.

  3. We try to eat dinner as early as possible (like 5:30), but sometimes the kids are just too hungry to wait. So, fruit, crackers, cheese, etc. And sometimes then they’re not hungry for dinner. But I don’t want to delay my own dinner until they are hungry again. If the snack is healthy enough and they only eat a little dinner, then I’m ok with it.
    The big problem is the 2yo who is being a real pill about eating anything these days.

  4. We either eat dinner the minute Bob walks in the house from work (5-5:30) and after baseball (7:30-8). In the case of an early dinner I try to let Henry have an apple, yogurt, string cheese – something like that. But if we’ve got an activity that precludes a 5-5:30 dinner they essentially eat two dinners. PBJ & apple slices at 4, pot of spaghetti at 7:30 or 8.

  5. We bring a snack to the playground for B., she has a runaway metabolism & needs lots of small meals. Carbs just don’t stick to her, so usually it’s string cheese, almonds, pb sandwich, etc. We’re switching her to almond milk, gradually, since she favors it.
    A. gets a snack, tho’ she’s usually okay either way. We also pump up the protein with her since carb-y, starchy grains & sugar trigger her migraines. So that means meatballs, eggs, nuts & celery w/peanut butter. Rarely do we let them have juice, pop only on special occasions, ie. parties. Going light on sugar & wheat at home ‘cos they get so much of it everywhere else, we’re not trying to be pure or strict exactly, just dial down the carbs.:) It’s been miraculous, A. was having 5-6 migraines a week, now, none. (At least, very rarely.)
    Erg, not sure I answered your question?! Dinner varies acc. to my energy level, they prefer 5:30-6 pm, I stretch it to 7ish. I always start too late, esp. with soccer, activities. Whatever you’re doing, I’m sure it’s fine!

  6. Btw, really liking the idea of ‘frontloading’ them with eggs, etc. Nice!

  7. This is a problem for my whole family. In a perfect world, a beautiful meal of protein and veggies would be ready at 5:30 when we all gather, famished, in the kitchen. What usually happens is, at 5:30 when I’m trying to figure out what’s for dinner, everyone wanders into the kitchen to “help,” and starts snacking on cheese, crackers, nuts. By the time veggies are chopped and food is prepared no one has an appetite. I think hummus is the answer, but that will require more advance thinking than I can muster at the moment…

  8. Parker, amazingly, does not usually eat a snack after school (totally expected he would), but we need to have dinner in a timely fashion or he’ll eat something at 5pm and then dinner at 7pm or 8pm. We never have trouble with him eating dinner though. He eats an extreme amount of food and we pack a BIG lunch, but his breakfast is pretty small. When he does snack it is usually fresh fruit or maybe a pb and j, nuts and dried fruit, stuffed grape leaves, hummus and veggies (things he grabs/makes himself).

  9. Now that my girl and guy are older (11 and 8) they’ll typically slap together a PB&J or grab some trail mix. We try to keep it healthy, but I turned Hubs loose in Costco recently and he came home with one of those 30-serving variety packs of chips. Really? But, turns out that if we’re going to have chips around, the 1-oz servings are great for portion control. If we have a large bag of anything, including trail mix, the trick is not to let either of them leave the kitchen with it or they’ll devour the whole thing. I usually divide it up into snack-size baggies.

  10. My boys are 14 and 17 now. We rarely glimpse Michael, the older one, after school. Christian, and Michael when he was younger, always requires a meal after school, including lots of protein. An entire second dinner often is needed quite late, say, after nine pm. Michael still can’t get through an entire night of sleep without getting up and eating a bowl of cereal. My policy has always been, if they are hungry, feed them. Real food is supposed to go in before sweets, in general. They swim a lot, so this is part of the reason for so much input. Also note, boys in the early middle school range tend to put on a lot of weight, but they are saving up for a huge growth spurt in late middle school/high school and will use up every bit. Some people are tempted to put them on a diet when they suddenly appear chubby, but our doctor said not to and lo, at 13 you have a bean pole with no body fat atall. It’s hard to get four of us together for s sit down meal at the same time, unfortunately. There’s my two cents.

  11. Not having kids but now beginning to understand food better, I think that if you are eating late then a snack makes sense. To keep the body on an even keel one should eat every 3-4 hours, and the high protein/low white foods(flour, sugar, potato, rice) seems better for feeling satiated and keeping blood sugar even. I find that once I get in a groove my “addictions” are easier to manage. In the beginning when limiting carbs it truly feels like detox(as best as I can imagine.) It helps when others in the house are participating too. I wish my parents had helped when I was young like you are.

  12. If my kids don’t have a snack after school, they become mean, bratty, selfish strangers. I try to have something in the car, because we are usually headed to soccer practice. Good bread, grapes, yogurt, crackers. Anything but sweets or processed junk food works for me. We are also really big on drinking lots of water. We eat late, usually. The two boys, 11 and 13, are always hungry. Again, as long as it’s not sweet or overly processed, I let them eat when they feel the need.

  13. Verrry late with this…Eve eats lunch at school at 10:45 AM and she is not a breakfast kid, so front-loading doesn’t work. We insist on some protein in the morning, either leftover French toast (hey, it has eggs! and soy milk!) or microwave bacon or a slice of deli meat. She eats school lunch (yeah, I know) and is famished when she gets home at 3:00, so snack is vital. Snack is usually yogurt or deli meat and some chips or pretzels. We usually eat dinner together around 6:30 or 7:00 and she’s hungry again by then. When she has dance class from 5:00 to 7:00, she has a dinner-ish snack and then something lighter when she gets home.