After-school hunger pangs
Every morning my three kids leave home with lunch bags filled with healthy snacks and a hearty lunch. Every afternoon these same kids return home starving.
I tried moving dinner up an hour (from 6pm to 5pm) and suggested the kids wait it out but was informed in no uncertain terms that I may as well ask them to starve!
When fruit, yogurt, peanut butter and crackers didn’t cut it I began baking more often. I served healthy muffins or oatmeal cookies with fresh fruit.
To my frustration the freshly baked goods were devoured in a single sitting!
After-school snacks left my kids anxiously awaiting dinner or it filled them up too much, and their appetite for dinner was spoiled.
I was stumped.
About a month ago, one of my friends mentioned that her two teens came home from school and ate dinner. My initial reaction was, really? Dinner at 3:30pm? To be perfectly honest, I had considered this option but had immediately dismissed it. I was sure my kids would scoff at the idea.
Or would they?
The next day, I suggested to my kids (jokingly, of course) that they eat dinner straight after school. To my astonishment, my 13 yr old daughter declared that she was so hungry when she got home from school that she would gladly eat her dinner (if you had been in the room and heard her tone of voice, you would think I deliberately starved my kids)!
Thinking outside the box
Who said tea time comes before dinner time, anyway? Why did it take weeks for us to realize that it’s okay to switch the two around?
We often discard ideas because they deviate from what society considers “normal.” If we would just let ourselves follow our instincts and do what feels right (instead of what society considers the norm) we would spare ourselves such unnecessary grief!
The next time you’re struggling to find a solution, try clearing your mind and allow yourself to think outside the box. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you find ;)
Note: I wrote this article over a year ago but didn’t get around to posting it. Even though our after-school routine has changed since I wrote this I think the ideas are still relevant. As a side note; my eldest gets home from school at 4:30 now and she still wants dinner (not snacks) the moment she walks through the door :)