Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Keeping Kids Happy: Food Between Meals

If you child participates in the Baby Club, Petit Club, or Mini Club, you will take them to breakfast, and then they will have AM/PM snacks, and lunch as part of their day program. Older children who do the Pyjama Club can have dinner with their GOs, too. However, regardless of age, dinner does not start until fairly late by US standards, and certainly late by little kid standards, particularly when those kids have had a full day outside and not vegetating in front of a TV, etc. We found that we needed to provide a beverage and snack between kids' programs pick-up and dinner time for our 15 month and (later) 2 yr old, and I've read other parents' comments that older kids are hungry before dinner, too. If your child does not participate in any programs, you'll have them for an "AM" snack, afternoon snack, and the pre-dinner witching hour when everyone seems to have low blood sugar. So what to do?

Tips to Keep Kids' Hunger at Bay Between Meals:

(Note that these are not in a particular order - select an approach that fits your needs/style.)

__Bring wrapped snacks from home (such as snack bars, or large resealable bag of favorite dry snack/cereal and small bags to dispense into)
__Take 'contained' (wrapped) snacks from the breakfast buffet that will not attract bugs in your bag or room, such as bananas and boxed cereals
__Go to the all-day Celeste beach-side cafe and order something simple, like a quesedilla (note that the limited cafe menu is not particularly geared toward children - no 'kiddie meals' but there are a few things on it that children will most likely eat)

__Ask the bartender for juice or milk for bottle/sippy. In 2009, the bartender actually went back behind the bar and dug up an apple juice drink box!
__Check out the Baby Bottle Room - you should be able to get milk here (bring your own cup/bottle), and possibly snacks (but don't count on snacks)

After everyone was cleaned up and ready for the evening after a day playing or at the beach, we usually went to the main bar and hung out until dinner. We got our daughter juice or milk from the bar for her bottle or sippy, and gave her some boxed cereal to munch on while she hung out with us. Since she was younger, we just didn't want to get her set up to eat at the Celeste cafe, and go through the motions of a meal, only to drag her off to yet *another* sit down meal when the restaurants opened.

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