It has taken me a long time to master the art of eating junk food behind my kids’ backs.
I’ve learned that the pantry is not the snack refuge some parents make it out to be. There has been many times I’ve snuck into our pantry when I thought my two-year-old was distracted. I’d feverishly cram chips down my throat like I was stuffing a turkey, only to look over my shoulder and find cartoon puppy eyes looking back up at me. Then her sweet little voice, “what eating?” Busted.
Lying doesn’t work either.
Well, at first it did. I would point to my mouth full of chocolaty goodness and mumble “chicken,” (she hates chicken) and that would be the end of the investigation, but she has since got wise to this game. “Naaaaaaah,” she says now with a smile, followed by a demand to show her.
Waiting until my kids go to bed has failed me too. One night, I had the brilliant idea to make popcorn in the basement so the kids couldn’t possibly hear it and wake up. I set the machine up, flicked the switch on, and two minutes later I was waving my arms at the smoke detector like a lunatic.
Determined, I popped it in the kitchen and hoped for the best. It worked. They didn’t wake up, at least not right away. Half way through the bowl we get a call on the monitor. It’s Layla. “Paw-tee, paw-tee, paw-tee, paw-tee, paw-tee. I need to go paaaaaaaw-tee.” So up the stairs I climb. I get her out of bed, sit her on the “paw-tee” and we whisper back and forth to each other, making sure not to wake Jack. Then there’s a moment of silence. She leans into my face and whispers, “what eating?” She could smell the popcorn on my breath.
I suppose I could give up junk food altogether. It would probably be the healthy choice. But as a parent with two young kids, there’s nothing more I look forward to at the end of an exhausting day than just sitting on the couch, watching a show and eating some chips.
So how do you successfully sneak eat? Here are a few tips:
- Never eat junk food when the kids are in the room (unless their eating lunch – check out my last point). Children can hear you unroll a chip bag in your pantry from their friend’s house down the street. The next thing you know, your house is full of kids because “mom and dad have chips.”
- If you’re smart enough to leave your kids behind when you go grocery shopping, you must be smart enough to bring a reusable grocery bag with you to pack the junk food in when you bring it in the house. There’s no six sense here, everyone can see through a plastic grocery bag. If they don’t know it exists, it doesn’t.
- Fill an empty chip bag with fruit. When they catch you eating “chips,” pull out a piece of fruit and show it to them. When they retire back to their blocks, dig into the real stash. This may not work with older kids.
- Don’t sneak at all. Wait until their lunchtime, and when they don’t want to eat the broccoli left on their plate, stroll past them with a big handful of chips. Just make sure it’s not the last handful.
Have any tips or funny stories to share? I’d love to hear them.