Before the pandemic, we got this idea from a real mom looking for ways to making eating fun for her family. We love this idea for afterschool (or anytime!) and it seems like it would be a great way to encourage picky eaters to try new foods:
Elementary school was a big adjustment for our family. My son had to get used to the structure of restrictions of full-day school. His little sister and I missed him a lot. But when he got home at 3:45 he was an exhausted, hangry mess.
To make matters worse, our daily reunions coincided with dinner prep time and my younger child’s whiniest time of the day. I found that I’d get one kid settled and start chopping onions only to be interrupted by the other child’s request for a snack. They’d both find their way to a bag of crackers and by the time dinner was on the table they were stuffed with carbs and unwilling to eat the meal I’d struggled to produce.
Out of desperation for some peace, the “Snacky Susan” was born. She saved our relationships and my kids’ appetites. I took a lazy Susan, put six 8oz mason jars on it, and fill each with a fruit, vegetable, or protein.
She says on the table from 3:30pm to bedtime for everyone’s snacking needs. Since the mason jars are sealable, uneaten snacks can be stored for the next day’s snacking or repurposed for lunches. My son even invented “snacky roulette.” You spin the tray and eat the snack that lands on you.
It’s been a great way to encourage my kids to try new foods.
Maura Wilson Schneider is a writer, amateur cook, yoga teacher, and mama of two fantastic kids.