Why I Stopped Giving My Child Snacks



For me, for six years, it was synonymous with parenting. It was a distraction, a bribe. It was a tool to keep kids quiet for a few minutes.

I used it as a reward and as an activity. Everywhere I went with my four littles I brought along snacks – and lots of them. Crackers, squeezable applesauce, cheese sticks, and the occasional organic sucker.

Due to health reasons, however, we recently stopped all mid-day munching cold turkey. I have since realized that this is completely counter-culture in America. Every day, everywhere moms, dads, nannies, and other  caregivers in the United States have snacks readily available– tucked inside their diaper bags and purses.

Snacks are so common, in fact, that the practice of giving our children food at all hours of the day often starts as early as age six months with the puff-type dissolvable snacks.

Snacking happens in the car, in front of the television, at the grocery store, in church, at school, at sporting events, waiting for doctor appointments. You name it. In America, where there are people, there are usually snacks.

Is it possible that this common event of snacking, totally accepted by our culture, is contributing to an undercurrent of health problems? Is using food as a bribe, reward, or a parenting tool something that will come back to harm our children as they grow older in terms of bad habits and coping mechanisms?

Did you know that even just a few decades ago is wasn’t all that common to see people walking around with snack bags and drinks in hand?

Is it even possible to cut out snacking? Have you ever considered it? This is our journey of how and why we’ve eliminated snacking from our day-to-day lives.

It is a small glimpse into how the transition began. . .





Virginia is a former high school mathematics teacher turned mom of four. She is married to Josh and they have four little munchkins (J – age 6, V – age 5, C – age 3, and B – age 1). With a B.S. in Mathematics and a M.Ed. in Education from the University of Michigan, Virginia has a heart to teach and spent six years in the classroom striving to help young people overcome their math phobias. Spending much time in the classroom lead to lots of research about how kids really learn and this passion has morphed into her mom life. Teacher at heart she has taught private piano lessons for almost 20 years and has worked on and off in youth and children’s programs through church for just as long. Now she enjoys observing her children as they take in the world with all their senses and helping them learn everything from walking to season changes to reading and playing instruments. Virginia’s love of outdoors began as a young person. Some of her best childhood memories are of spending quality time with family on campouts, canoe trips and vacations to her Great Uncle and Aunt’s farm in West Virginia. She has white water rafted, zip-lined, and camped in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the snow. She spent several summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor and she is passionate about passing on the health, countenance, spiritual, and educational benefits attained from being outside to her children and to others.