Snack Time


I can be a pretty lazy cook. I may have admitted that before. Then again, maybe I couldn’t be bothered.

But recently I have been trying to make sure the kids get more healthy snacks. “Snack” in Japan means a watering hole that’ll leave you feeling dehydrated and poor in the morning. “Snack-gashi” is the word for salty snack foods like chips, popcorn, senbei (rice crackers,) etc. And that pretty much sums up the kind of food parents seem to give their children at the three o’clock snack time, although sometimes kids get sweets like cookies, cake, mochi, etc. That’s what my friends bring to my house when they come over to play, anyway, and the kind of food HRH is always bringing home to give to the kids.

The attitude seems to be that kids can eat whatever they want. But that’s not an attitude I agree with. Eating habits learned in childhood can be hard to break.

I try, even though I often don’t succeed, to give my kids healthy snacks. When they have sweets, usually I make them at home. I almost always halve the sugar and replace half the flour with wheat flour, and more often than not things turn out just fine.

Once you start cooking at home, though, you realize just exactly how much butter and oil and sugar and crap is in the foods children eat at snack time. For me it has turned into a vicious cycle of sorts: making something at home and realizing for the first time how much nastiness is in the store bought version, checking the label the next time I go to buy a snack, deciding to make that at home, too.

Oh well. I guess eventually they’ll be able to make it from lunch to dinner without a snack. (Or maybe not, since I can’t seem to.) At any rate, today’s snack is zucchini bread muffins, with half whole wheat, half the sugar, half the oil, and some soy milk added to make up for the lost fluid. I could have gone even lower on the sugar, actually. But these were still good!

There’s this website I like because you can click a button and it will convert the servings for you, and you can change it to metric! But if you screw up the recipe too much, I’m not sure they’ll take the blame.


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