Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Update: Snack Food Experiment

It's been almost 2 months (It seems a whole lot shorter, to be honest) since we started our snack food experiment.  

So how's it going for us?

The change was easier than I expected.  The snack cabinet now consists mainly of shelled and unshelled peanuts and dried fruit.  No cereals, crackers or chips. Our go-to salty snack is air popped popcorn.  We eat a lot of popcorn.  

If we need something sweet, we just make it.  Cookies or whatever.   If we are gone for the day, we just take sandwiches and our own snacks with us (carrot sticks, celery, dried fruit, apples, bananas, etc.). 

I didn't follow through with making all our own bread or tortillas.  That will be for another season.  It was just too much stress and my husband requested for my sake that I just buy bread for now.  We do make tortillas and bread ourselves just not as our main supply.  I also haven't experimented a lot with making crackers or homemade chips either.  We are quite content right now with nuts, fruit and popcorn.  

We were challenged to eat healthy on our vacation.  I had to do prep work ahead of time to curb our consumption of junk food.  We did have some junk food type snacks while we were away, but our diet was overall healthier than previous vacations.  With that, I'm very happy! (I almost gave in later in the week, but the $5.79 price tag for a small package of Oreos took care of that temptation very quickly!)  

I can't say we are not tempted sometimes, but I'm proud of the decision we made together and being able to stick with it.  I know that we'll continue and as fall approaches start experimenting with some new, healthier recipes. 

Original post: 

Die-hard snackers would come to our house and be disappointed at our lack of snack foods. You won't find soda or snack cakes in our pantry.   Overall, we keep our snack purchases under control.  But sometimes it can get out of control and we don't even notice. 

When we do buy snacks, here's what we buy:

multi-grain chips, potato chips and tortilla chips
cheese crackers and regular crackers
granola bars or cereal bars
sugared cereal (whatever is on sale at UGO or Ollie's) 

We don't usually snack a lot during the day, but I'll add snack foods with our sandwiches at a mealtime.  I've examined when we snack the most and found that during the school year when we are on-the-go for various lessons and activities presents the most temptation.  We'll stop and pick up a quick snack (usually processed) from the grocery store.  It's better than fast food, but not the best.  

I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks and have on purpose not purchased anything from the above categories.  Our once pretty full snack cabinet has been diminished to contain dried fruit, and an almost empty box of Fruit Loops.  

We are going to do a little experiment around here.  I'm not sure how long, but we are going to start making homemade snack foods.  We already eat a lot of fruit and veggies, but really need to experiment with alternatives for our regular purchased snack foods.  I'm also planning on making our own bread and tortillas during this experiment as well. 

I decided this would be a great home economics project this year.  Learning to make new foods like crackers and pretzels.  Granola for cereal and just retraining ourselves to eat overall less processed foods. 

This doesn't mean we won't snack, but we'll just home-make every snack we have.  We'll still have treats and fun food...we'll just make them ourselves.  

The timing has just fallen into place for us to start now because JP took his company's shut down week off unpaid.  That means a slimmer paycheck.  Good motivation to stick to the basics and eat what we have on hand.  

For this to work for us, I know planning will be the key.  We have to make breakfast foods, snacks and bread in advance.  We'll have to take snacks with us when we go out for lessons or activities.  

Tera is very excited because she loves experimenting with new recipes.  I love that we'll be working in the kitchen together planning things and learning new skills.  It will also be great to get Daniel more involved in the kitchen.  We'll find jobs for Michael, too. 

I'm a bit nervous about all the extra work, but I know it will be worth it.  Better health and learning new skills.  You can't beat that! 


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