“Let me do it, mom!” are words that frequently come out of Darah’s mouth. She is working so hard to be independent, and I am trying my best to listen to her and give her the opportunity to do things all by herself. It requires patience on my end, to be sure, but I can see the pride she has when she accomplishes something on her own. I imagine that it must be a very empowering feeling to a 3 year old!
One step I have taken toward giving Darah the freedom of choice and the ability to take action on her own is with her afternoon snack. It is part of her daily ritual to have a little something to eat after her quiet time. I used to prepare the snack for her, but lately I have been stocking the snack bin in the pantry and letting Darah go in on her own and select the item she wants that day. Darah LOVES getting to make her own decision, and she loves to talk with me about her different options while she mulls over her options. She also loves to work on opening her snacks herself, although this is an area where mom is still needed to help.
It is my job to make sure that every option in the bin is a healthy choice. Del Monte Fruit Cups have been introduced to the snack bin, and they get snapped up VERY quickly, I have to say. I recently went to Walmart to restock our supply of fruit cups, and while I was there I picked up two new flavors, Diced Apples & Pears with Caramel Flavor and Diced Pears with Vanilla & Spice. Don’t those sound simply scrumptious for the fall and winter seasons? I spotted them on the shelves at my local Walmart a few days ago. If you want to come along with me on my entire shopping trip, click here to see what I saw while grocery shopping at 6 am!
Before these new fruit cups landed in my cart, I needed to check for an important ingredient, or perhaps I should say, a lack of an ingredient:
(Bingo! Del Monte Fruit Cups contain no high fructose corn syrup! The presence of that ingredient makes or breaks whether or not I buy it for my daughter. I wish I could say I was as disciplined with that rule with my food, too. Baby steps, right?)
After I got home, Darah helped me unload the groceries and very quickly found her new snacks. She was thrilled, and she helped me add them to her snack bin so that they could be an option for her later that day.
After her quiet time (and she actually napped that day! Woo hoo!) Darah made a bee line (or should I say ladybug line? She was trying out her Halloween costume…) for her snack bin. After double-checking with me that it was time for a snack, she looked over her options and made her choice. Del Monte Fruit Cups, please!
(Notice how I keep the snack bin at Darah’s eye level. This is key, but it also requires that your child develop discipline to not raid the snack area when it isn’t snack time. Our daughter is getting better at this, but we’ve had more than a few conversations about it, I assure you!)
Darah was quite pleased with her selection, and after trying to get it open, herself, she asked me for some assistance.
While she doesn’t normally wear bibs, I thought it might be wise to put on a smock over her costume since these fruit cups do contain a light syrup and the odds of it landing on her costume were good. I sat with her while she ate, and we talked about what our plans were for the afternoon. We decided that a walk down to the park might be fun. While we chatted, she made a point of telling me that she liked her snack because it was just the right size for her. I think she’s right!
After she had eaten most of her snack, I asked her if it tasted really good. She didn’t respond to my question with words, but instead, with action!
As I watched Darah slurp down every bit of her snack, I couldn’t help but think about how glad I was that this product is free of high fructose corn syrup. That makes it a #SmartSnack in my book, and means that it will be in regular rotation in our snack bin. I’m especially looking forward to stocking up on this to use when apples and pears aren’t in season and finding tasty ones is a challenge. That’s the perfect time to reach for a Del Monte Fruit Cup!
One other idea I have for this healthy snack is to use it at breakfast. Tomorrow morning I’m planning on giving Darah a fruit cup along with her oatmeal and letting her combine the two for a fruity twist to a hot breakfast staple! Darah will be able to control the amount of fruit she uses, and I think that will make it a lot of fun for her.
Do you have any tips for ways to make snack time for your kids a more enjoyable experience, and one in which they take some ownership? Do your snack options include Del Monte products? Drop the company a line on their Facebook page or on Twitter to share your tips and tricks or to get more information about all the ways Del Monte can help make snack time healthy and fun.
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Del Monte #CBias #SocialFabric. All thoughts and opinion expressed here are strictly my own.