Over time, one of my major food goals is to stop buying any and all pre-made foods. That means, ideally, when I would go to the store (or get food from a farmer), all I would need are whole, single-ingredient foods: fruit, vegetables, flour, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, maple syrup, beans, etc. I wouldn't buy ketchup, for example. Or cereal. Now of course, this is in the ideal world, and the world isn't ideal. But I'm getting there!
One of the major areas we had to conquer was snacking. It's easy enough for me to make a meal plan and make our meals from scratch (theoretically) But providing a family with all the snacks they need, too? That's hard, particularly when snack foods - crackers, chips, cookies - tend to be the pre-made foods I was talking about above.
When I decided to get serious about this, I added a category to my weekly menu plan. Underneath all the plans for the meals, I put a column for snacks. I typed in the snacks I wanted to have on hand at all times, and then each week I bold the ones that I need to make for the coming week. That way I remember to add the ingredients they require to my shopping list, which I cull from the menu plan. Make sense? It's been great!
Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:
So, this week I need to be sure to buy some cheese, cut up some veggies for dipping, finish straining yogurt to make dip, bake some bread (after I buy some flour), whip up some fruit snacks, and start brewing a batch of kombucha. It sounds like a lot of work, but I just do a little here and there and it's fine. Plus I love being in the kitchen. I also need to add ice cream/frozen yogurt to the list - I always try to have some of that, homemade, in the freezer.
What strategies do you use to keep your family in healthy snacks?