Some days, I wonder if my kids even see my face. We spend so much time on the move to and from various activities that I’m pretty sure all they get is a nice view of the back of my head.
Week after week, we’re off to baseball clinics, basketball practice, scouts, church group, trombone…the list goes on. Every season, I swear I’ll get them to slow down, but nobody wants to give up the interests they love. I try to carpool but, a lot of the time, I drive.
It’s not all bad. Along the road (literally) I’ve learned that the car is a great place to get my children to open up and talk. Maybe it’s the fact that their guards are down, or that they don’t feel put under the parental spotlight, but we’ve had some of our best conversations riding in the car. It’s where I get my typically close-mouthed boys to give me the scoop on school, friendships and—yes—even girls (I’m sworn to secrecy so I will say nothing more on that subject). We’ve had a few tough talks in the car, too, on the rare occasions when somebody got reprimanded in school and needed to confess; or had their feelings hurt by a friend and wanted some comfort and perspective.
So while it may be true that our busy schedules limit traditional family time, it also gives something back: an opportunity to talk to our children without distraction as we travel to our next destination.
But, as any mom will tell you, the very first thing that kids—especially boys—ask when they hop in the car is, “What’s for snack?” That’s why I always come prepared. These Popcorn Granola Snack Bars are a huge favorite with my boys—and me, too. In fact, I think of them as Mom’s personal conversation starters. Packed with fiber-filled, whole grain popcorn and protein-rich peanut butter, these yummy bars instantly take the edge of their hunger and get my guys nutritionally fueled up for their next activity. They take a bite, relax into their seats…and settle down for a nice chat.
Popcorn Granola Snack Bars
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup peanut butte
1 cup granola cereal
1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
3 cups popped popcorn
- Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with foil.
- Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- Heat honey in a large saucepan until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.