The Way My Kids Are Eating Snacks at Home, I'm Starting to Wonder If They Were Starving at School

Illustration for article titled The Way My Kids Are Eating Snacks at Home, Im Starting to Wonder If They Were Starving at School
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I have a curiosity that I’ve been pondering since schools shuttered and our kids have been home around the clock: were my kids starving at school?

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I think my parents will probably feel me on this one right here. If you are a parent and find yourself so compelled to throw your hands in the air, feel free to wave them like you just don’t care if what I’m about to speak on sounds familiar.

Spoiler alert: It will sound familiar.

So, since my two youngest kids (aged 5 and 4-in-a-week) have been home, the snack requests literally occur around the clock. If these kids are awake, they want snacks. They wake up, say at like 7:30 a.m., which actually constitutes sleeping in around these parts, and after playing and littering each floor in the house with things for me to step on. Sure, I’ve written about stepping on Legos in the middle of the night, but you have not lived until you’ve almost met your maker by slipping on an armless Spider-Man left on a stair. Can you imagine the irony of falling down a flight of steps to your impending paralysis at the hands of a superhero? Now, we do bath time and they eat breakfast somewhere between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. and they’re not just eating some yogurt cup, my kids are eating that good stuff. They get waffles and/or pancakes, fruit they like and say, a Dannon smoothie. These kids, yo, they hit the lottery.

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Anyway, they’re usually done eating around 9:30 a.m. in time to do some variation of school activities, usually circle time videos from school and from a YouTuber named Monica Sutton who does a daily joint that my kids rather enjoy. The willies are pretty much all shaken out by 10:15-ish a.m. And then here they come, asking for some snacks. Usually, I’m like hell to the nah, bruh bruh. How can they possibly be hungry only 45 minutes later? But if that first attempt manages to successfully foil their snack procurement, they’ll be back 15 minutes after that. Without fail.

The littlest one, a savvy chap if I’ve ever met one who specializes in Circumventive Ingenuity, will go radio silent at some point, having deduced that we place certain snacks closest to the edge of the counter enabling him to reach them with his stepping stool from the bathroom. Not only does he go radio silent, but he has also realized that eating things out of sight in the kitchen is his best bet. My other child, the five-year-old has become Simone Biles in these streets and does leaps and bounds onto countertops, then manages to open up cabinets to get into the snacks. No snacks are safe in my house, yo.

Even if they eat lunch at noon, they’re snack-hunting at like 1 p.m. Seriously, over the course of every single day that we’ve been home, they’re looking for snacks almost on the hour.

And I don’t get it. When these kids are at school one of my biggest frustrations was always that they didn’t seem to eat their full lunches or snacks. At the end of almost every day, when picking them up, we open their lunch boxes and see remainder-snacks and even sometimes parts of lunch that weren’t eaten. Which is causing me some consternation now: are my kids starving at school? When they get in the car for pickup they always ask for their snacks but I figure that’s because they are usually just getting off the playground or something, burning calories and needing a quick food intake.

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But how is it that these kids, who are in the house all day long, with frequent trips outside, are always hungry now? I haz confused.

Are they not getting adequate snack time at school or are they just bored here at home so they don’t know what else to do but eat snacks? Does a moment of downtime at home trigger a desire to nibble on some nibbleage? I’m genuinely confused by this. My kids are even willing to eat healthy stuffs right now. It ain’t like it’s just Oreos and fruit snacks. They’re asking for mandarin oranges and grapes. Hell, I bet I could put some celery out and they’d be like, “yay, celery!” They feel like endless pits of consumption right now.

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What I do know is that when school comes back around, whenever that may be, I’m going to be asking some questions about their eating because either my kids are starving or they’re faking the funk here at home.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, one of my kids just asked me for some ice. He is hungry for ice right now.

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Ice.

What is happening?

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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DISCUSSION

They are probably hungry at school but too amped up to notice or care. I can speak to the half eaten lunches though as a teacher. They would rather play!

Lunch and Recess times are divided, time is based on how long and the school. Lets say lunch is 30 minutes. Its informally divided by a 15 minute eating period and 15 minutes of play or 10 minute eating 20 play, vice versa, etc. Now some schools make students abide by this, such as you have to stay the whole 15 minutes in the eating area regardless of if you are done are not. Most schools do not (as they are trying to free up cafeteria space for the next group coming in), so its a when you are finished eating, whenever that may be, you can go play situation.

I find students usually take a couple of bites of their sandwich or whatever, Im gathering just to quell the hunger pangs and then they go play. Then at the end of recess/lunch, while they are lining up they try to sneak eat something from the rest of the lunch like take bites of the apple or fruit snacks that are in there, cant finish bc limited time just trying to sneak a few bites/pieces while lining up so back in the lunch box it goes.

When they get home, all you and all the other parents of the world see is a half eaten sandwich, an open package of fruit snacks spilling all over the place and an empty juice box, left wondering what happened.