Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Snack Solution: Do You Know The Muffin Pan?

A few year ago, I heard Dr. Sears speak on childhood nutrition, and I really liked what he had to say on this subject.

One of his philosophies was that if you always have healthy snacks out and available, then your kids will eat them. His theory is that if you just provide healthy options and leave kids to themselves, they will eat the healthy food.

He shared an idea for kids' snacks, which I have just recently started implementing in our house, and it's working great!
The idea is to fill the cups of a muffin tin with a variety of healthy snacks each morning, set it on the kitchen table and just let the kids munch away throughout the day.

Here's a photo of our muffin tin.
Please note:
  • The piece of bagel in the upper left corner. Bennett insisted on filling one of the cups with the remainder of his breakfast.
  • For some reason silly Blogger refuses to post this picture in landscape even though that's how it's saved.
  • I doubled up on a few of Bennett's favorite items like grapes and banana chips... I like to live on the wild side.
  • Bananas are well represented in this morning's muffin tin, with both the fresh and chip variety in attendance.
  • I realize there is only one veggie in this tin. Not to worry... veggies have been better represented in other muffin tins. Some great veggie ideas are: celery sticks with peanut butter, baby carrots, snap peas, etc.

The first day I introduced this, I told Bennett how it worked:

  • When he's hungry, he can grab anything he wants from the snack tray.

  • When one of the cups is empty, we won't refill it. He has to try something else in the tray if he's still hungry.
He was very excited about it! At first he ate all the "best" snacks (grapes, cheese, banana chips). But after those were gone, he started eating other things he normally wouldn't snack on... like carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and walnuts. Buy the end of the day, a good amount of the tray was empty, and I was satisfied knowing that he had filled up on super healthy foods.


  1. I love this idea Casey....thank you!!

  2. This is a very creative and fun idea. It's a great way to make a variety of healthy snacks appetizing and accessible for "kids" of all ages. Fun stuff!