The idea of a snack in my house has been evolving lately. It used to be that the kids would ask for a snack, and they wanted some crackers. I would put some crackers in one of our little plastic bowls with a handle, and they would sit quietly in front of their latest art project or a favorite tv program and eat the crackers. As the kids grew, they began to add a little protein to their snacks—yogurt, string cheese, peanut butter. For the most part, my children have been pretty good about eating healthy snacks.

Fast forward to the teen years. Well… to today. I had just arrived home from work and was preparing to make dinner. Mondays involve lots of evening activities, so dinner is quick. I opened the fridge and started to pull out the leftovers to go with the pasta that was happily boiling away in a pot on the stove. I found a great variety of leftovers: a bowl of baked ziti, some deviled eggs, a chunk of meatloaf. I studied the meatloaf as I removed it from the fridge. Huh… I would have sworn the piece was (quite a bit) bigger, but I have moments in which my memory is not what it used to be. But then a thought crossed my mind.

“C, did you have some meatloaf after school?” I questioned. Total stab in the dark here.

He looked up from his iPad, staring at me blankly for a long moment. “I might have.” He turned back to his iPad, no further explanation. Really, none needed.

“Protein,” W said walking by me through the kitchen. “Growing boys need protein.”

Yep. Meatloaf has now become an acceptable snack. Along with spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmesan, a ham and cheese sandwich (with some pepperoni thrown on for good measure), half a dozen eggs­­—you get the picture.

I’m going to need a third job….


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