This Mom's Viral Fridge Hack Just Might Convince Your Kids to Eat More Veggies
Say goodbye to scrambling and hello to self-service.
Sarah Hornung, 32, of Buffalo, New York, is a school administrator and creator of The Eager Teacher, a website where she gives advice on how to be the best parent and educator in the hectic world we live in.
As a mom of two young boys and a former teacher herself, she knows all too well the challenge of getting your kids to eat healthy while balancing a busy schedule.
"Kids are most likely to eat healthy foods when they are hungry, so I found myself always scrambling to wash and cut up fruits and vegetables every night before dinner," Hornung told Best Life. "They'd have a meltdown while waiting, so I would end up just giving them something processed because it was quick and ready to eat."
That all changed when she saw something online about creating a "pack your own lunch" station in the pantry for kids and decided to create a similar self-serve station of healthy snacks for her sons inside the fridge.
Every Sunday, after she's done grocery shopping, she cuts up all of the fruits and vegetables, puts them into containers, and stacks them in the refrigerator door, creating a healthy food buffet her sons can munch on throughout the week.
She shared her simple, but brilliant hack on The Eager Teacher Facebook page on September 15th, and it immediately went viral, racking up more than 78,000 likes and 111,000 shares in just over a week.
Most people loved the idea, especially given growing concerns over the rise of childhood obesity in the U.S. But Hornung also received a few comments from detractors saying her kids might end up eating too much this way.
"Like adults, kids have preferences, and they need options," Hornung said, in response to the criticism. "I believe in teaching kids how to listen to their bodies and not just to eat because it's a mealtime or wait because it's not."
In addition to adding some nutrition to their diet, she believes the tactic helps them build important behavioral skills and a healthy attitude towards food. "Kids want what is off-limits or restricted, which doesn't teach them to self-monitor," she says. "This helps foster their independence."
Hornung said her kids love the approach to snacking and she says it's totally worked. And really, that's what matters. "I know a lot of kids and families where mealtimes are the biggest struggle because their kids are picky eaters or have sensory needs," she says. "My kids have food allergies, which presents a unique challenge for us as a family. Everyone is just doing the best they can."
And for more stories about great moms, check out The Beautiful Message Behind That Viral Photo of a Little Boy Comforting a Classmate With Autism.
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