Snack Tray

Snack tray with dates, carrots and dry pineapple chunks.

This is my new toy. It’s a plastic snack tray that has 3 compartments. There were several colors available (blue, white, green) but I chose red because red stimulates the appetite, as do orange and yellow. Think of every fast-food joint you’ve ever been to, all the colors are designed to make you hungry and eat more. Red, yellow and orange everywhere you look. I figured I could use phsychology in my kitchen just as effectively as the big guys. The tray cost $1 at Dollar General and it is revolutionizing my kitchen.

I have teenagers, well 1 pre-teen (almost 12) and 1 teen (15). They are hungry children. They are slender children. They need food, lots of it, all the time. I hate cooking for them more than 2 or 3 times a day. There are always leftovers in the fridge and fruit in the fruit basket, but they want to graze like cattle, instead of preparing a complete, hearty snack themselves.

We are currently in famine zone, meaning we have enough for bills, and little else. So right now I’m going through my food storage, picking out things I’ve bought during times of plenty, and using them to best advantage. In the past my boys wouldn’t eat dried fruit, I think because they didn’t get their Gluten/Casein buzz from it. That has changed though. As a matter of fact, both boys are expanding their appetite horizons which is wonderful for me, because it makes cooking easier.

So, I’m filling our snack tray every morning, and then the kids have snacks all day long, without needing my help or input. Probably most kids in their teens are able to do a lot of their cooking for themselves, but my guys have been slow about it. I’m happy to report though, that my asperger’s boy has started helping me in the kitchen every single day for our evening meal and any baking I may do. It is sooo much easier to cook when I have a helper. This just started the past week, so it’s big progress for us. Actually every single week we seem to have a little progress, sort of out of the blue, and it’s like there’s a bunch of catch-up work going on, in the life-skills department. Praise God for his grace.

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9 Comments

Filed under Family, GFCF, Health, Homemaking, Low Cost Foods, Pictures

9 responses to “Snack Tray

  1. I love this snack tray idea!

    I need to get me one of these. Our girls are grazers all day, too, and it would be handy to fill it up each morning, and have it out for them during the day.

    Great idea, I love it. 🙂

  2. tuimeltje

    Very neat. Looks like something that would work for me, too.

    As for the cooking, I’m not sure if teenagers do that a lot. I remember doing the occasional bit of cooking while living at home, but not properly the way I do now as a student.

  3. Shelley P

    Maggie, what great progress with the new eating plans, and it is so good to hear of the improvements its making in the boys, and you.

    I like the idea for doing the dried beans in the slow cooker, I might try that and see if my tribe will eat it.
    Blessing
    Shelley P
    from over the pond

  4. When I was a teenager I did a lot of cooking. I may have been unusual though.

  5. Sheila

    I had success with a similar thing when my girls were small. I had little divided trays and put a tablespoon or so of several foods for them to try at meals. They liked having choices and ate better with smaller portions. Anyone whose children have small appetites may benefit from this.

  6. I really like this idea. The snacks are healthy and appetizing. I think this would be of benefit to my family. Thanks for the idea!

  7. I’ve found that the snack tray captured my boys’ imagination. They look at the tray and it telegraphs “SNACK” to their brains, and then it’s like they have “permission” to eat them. My guys have a few hang-ups about food, I suspect it’s due to Asperger’s, but it may just be a kid thing. Anyway, the snack tray works perfectly for them, and that’s the main thing. That the guys recognize it and use it. and of course, that my time in the kitchen is moderately reduced as well.

  8. Amanda

    I saw that very tray when I was in DG last. I even held it in my hand, but decided I didn’t “need” it. I may have to rethink that! Of course, with 5 children I may need more than one…..

  9. Joanna

    I’ve tried this idea at home myself. I don’t have teenagers-I have a 4 year old who is a serious grazer. His montessori school has a similar system where the kids can get their own snacks and drinks after a certain time of morning. He likes the freedom and “grown up-ness” of serving himself at school and at home. I like the fact that I can finish a project I might be working on without stopping every five minutes (or so it seems) to figure out a snack for him! Thank you for the inspiration:)

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