Snack it Up and You’ll Never Stop

So there you have it, another dinner finished in ten minutes flat. When you consider that dinner takes me on average 30 to 40 minutes to prepare each night it’s a bit disheartening that the actual dining time is so short and the sitting time is even shorter.  When I sit down I immediately jump up for something I forgot.  I sit down again and have to let the dog inside.  I sit down again and someone has spilled their milk.  I finally sit down and everyone else is asking to be excused.  What!?!  How can you be finished already?  I look down at my untouched dinner and  jump up again to put in the microwave.

What happened to dinner conversation and chewing your food slowly?  I love food.  I like to spend time with things I love.  And maybe that is just it.  My kids don’t like most dinner foods so they don’t want to spend time at the dinner table.  They don’t need dinner because the world is a giant snack tray.  There are snacks available to them at every turn from play dates and other events.  I started re-writing the lyrics (Weird Al style) to the song “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones.  I sing it to the boys as I dish out some mashed potatoes.


Snack it up….Once you snack it up you never stop.

Just snack it up.  Snack it up and you’ll never stop.

You make your mother cry i i .

When you pass on dinn-er-er.

We have some rules about snacking in our family.  I have a snack bin that is filled with an assortment of “healthier snacks”.  Things like cheese and crackers, boxes of raisins, granola bars, cups of gold fish, along with yogurt and cut up fruit in the fridge.  At snack time, they can pick two things and they have to be different.  It works out alright when we are at home alone.  Once we add friends, fun and confusion to the mix I lose control.

It is summer as I write this.  The days are long and friends and family abundant.  The kids are at an age where they can ask for things or get things themselves.  Summer is always more casual and I snack it up too.  There will be plenty of time for longer dinners together with the onset of fall and fading daylight.  And plenty more to share around the table about our day seeing how we will be apart from each other for several hours with the start of school and other routines.  So for now, I do my best with the dinner routine adding in outdoor dining and picnics when I can.  It feels a lot more like snacking in that setting anyway.