Today when I took Nora to school, I looked at the calendar and realized we had signed up to bring the afternoon snack. This isn’t something we normally volunteer for, and the little iCal reminder just didn’t work for me. Surprise!! Fortunately, my schedule is flexible so I rearranged my morning to track down some healthy, kid-friendly food.
I started at Wild Oats/Whole Foods on Main and looked up and down every aisle. I found things the kids would eat — grapes, crackers, baby carrots, etc., but I try to challenge their tastebuds, at least a little. (In the past I’ve taken watermelon and was surprised how many kids said they didn’t like it, or didn’t even want to try it. Sugar snap peas went over much better, and one mom said she wouldn’t have believed her daughter ate them without the photo proof I provided.)
At the store I struggled to find something that was cost effective for the quantity I needed. (I don’t want to promote the idea that Whole Foods is always expensive. If you stick with the basics and buy the store brand, it’s really not so bad. Besides, we need to value good food and be willing to pay for it. It’s just that the midtown store is particularly small and doesn’t offer as much choice as the bigger Whole Foods stores.)
Costco didn’t open until ten and I needed to go home and prep the snack before my lunch meeting, so I stopped at Cosentino’s in Brookside and decided on a multi-grain baguette ($1.99), red grapes ($2.99/lb) and a cantaloupe ($2.99). Total bill to feed 20 kids a healthy snack: $15. The grapes weren’t such a good choice money wise, but shopping in a crunch usually leads to a bigger bill, right? Next time I’ll plan ahead and hit Costco first.
Later I checked in with Nora’s teacher. She reported that some kids didn’t eat the fruit, some didn’t eat the bread, but everyone had something. Since I’m heading up the nutrition and wellness committee at the school, one of my first goals is to introduce fruits and vegetables on a more regular basis so everyone learns to like them. Hopefully that will make panic shopping easier in the future.