5 y.o. - He: shared his stash often,went through it slowly, chose to snack on a variety of real and play foods
10 y.o. - She: went through her stash slowly, shared with her friends, chose to snack on a variety of real and play foods, ate a lot more candy than usual (Before the experiment, her holiday candy would sit on a shelf, forgotten. When it became part of her stash, she began eating it more and more).
11 y.o. - He: went through stash quickly (nearly empty by Fri's restocking day), prefers the extra-sugary stuff, does enjoy and requests fresh fruit
Me: I had no desire to dip into their stash; I had my own: a large bag of peanut M&M's that I'm still working on (In all fairness, I was sick for two weeks and had no desire for them. Otherwise, they'd be gone, I'm sure). I keep a zip-bag of them in my purse along with some pecans.
We are continuing the snack stash boxes with modifications. Each box will have (typically): favorite nuts, dried fruit, real granola bars (not candy bars disguised as granola bars), and ONE play food -- all customized to their tastes. Additionally, I'm buying different types of beef jerky for them to try -- a higher quality*, less greasy variety -- and ad to their boxes.
5 y.o.'s choices: pistachios and cashews, raisins, rolled wafer cookies (plus the granola bars and beef jerkey I'm having them try)
10 y.o.'s choices: pistachios, dates, Lindt dark chocolate truffles* (plus granola bars)
11 y.o.'s choices: cashews, apricots, pop tarts (3 of the 4 packages in the box), (plus granola bars and beef jerkey I'm having them try).
-They can eat when they are hungry, BUT they must ask first when the next meal is ready (if it's within 20-30 minutes, they'll need to wait).
-They can snack on veggies and fruit almost any time (supplied in fridge and counter).
-They have to make their play food last at least a week. (We'll restock once per week).
-I will provide additional real-food after-school snacks; then they can dip into their stash if still hungry.
-Future holiday candy: they can choose their ultimate favorites and donate the remainder to the Bishop's office (he has a candy jar).
Lindt truffles can be expensive but are a better quality chocolate. I want to encourage them to get a taste for quality in a variety of foods. Then they'll learn that cheap versions are not "worth their taste buds**." We may not purchase a lot, but the quality will be savored. That's also why I'm trying better quality beef jerky for the boys.
I've noticed this for myself: when I choose better quality, I lose a taste for cheap stuff (which is usually less healthy). I've been working to learn to cook and bring in flavorful veggies and better quality meats, etc. In the process, I have lost the taste for most fast-food. (This is a work in progress, one I haven't mastered, yet, but do see changes in).
For example, I used to buy steaks for everyone in the family for dinner. I'd buy the cheaper cuts that didn't turn out very good (I know, my skills may have a lot to do with that). Now, I buy the expensive cuts of meat, but because they are expensive, I buy one cut, and we all (5 of us) share the one. Although less quantity, it's so much better. It's enjoyable. With that joy comes a feeling of being satisfied and fed.
**"Worth my taste buds" is a quote from Jarah and Eating for Your Soul -- That quote resonates in my head as I make choices and gives me much to ponder upon.