Healthy Snack Ideas for Movie Night

By Sarah Pachev

We don't watch a lot of T.V. at our house. When we moved into our house that has a basement we put the T.V. in the family room downstairs. It is such a hassle to get down there and turn the tube on that we just don't. (note-we also have trained our children not to turn the TV on without asking first...when they were little I actually undid the connections in back of the TV so that if they did turn it on they only got fuzz. The younger children have learned from the older and they don't turn it on either)

I am not against TV. I love to watch a good movie and I could spend hours in front of it myself. That is exactly the problem I have with it. I spent many a good hour watching TV when I was in 8th grade and failed algebra that year. The really sad part is that I've never really caught up in my math skills.

Okay, now that that sermon is over let's talk about movie night. We love having a movie night at our house.We often do it on a Friday night. The extra special fun part is having a fun snack with it. We have had some fun themed snacks like Cinnamon night or Blueberry night.

For cinnamon night we had cinnamon popcorn,(see my Caramel Popcorn recipe-add 1tsp cinnamon),cinnamon applesauce and cinnamon ice cream(see my Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream recipe and of course add cinnamon 1-2 tsp)

Blueberry night was blueberry muffins (see my Applesauce Muffin Recipe and add 1 cup blueberries) with blueberry jam and blueberry smoothies made in our new K-tec blender. I don't have a link for the smoothie recipe and honestly I don't remember exactly what went into it but smoothies are pretty forgiving. I think we used apple juice, bananas, strawberries and of course blueberries.

Other snack ideas for a theme night could be:

  • Veggie night
  • Fruit night
  • Hawaiin night(get tropical fruits)
  • Try snacks linked to the movie you are going to watch, maybe even try to make a recipe like something they are eating in the movie or just something that works with the movie you are watching.

Of course there is always the good ol' standby popcorn, ice cream, or chips and salsa. I make my own popcorn and ice cream( see recipes above) You can buy tortilla chips at the local health food store that don't have the bad oils and although gluck that most chips have. You've probably noticed that a lot of major brands are coming out with their "healthy" version. Check the labels to make sure it fits your standard of healthy. I make my own salsa in our K-Tec blender or I buy fresh salsa.

Then don't forget to put all the goodies on a TV try and let them eat in the living room for once. (unless that's something you do all the time then it won't really be a treat or very good for the carpet either).We are consistent about not eating in the living room because we have five children and just because it's a good idea. We love doing it every once in awhile and make sure we clean up afterwards.

Movie nights,especially with healthy snacks, are something my children really look forward to as a reward for working hard all week and I look forward to relaxing together with them. Make sure you always monitor the movies you choose. I have noticed that my children do not have nightmares if I watch what they watch. I don't want to dis Disney but they have really gone down in quality over the years. I think that some of the movies are too intense for little ones (2-4 or 5, depending on the child). Try to find older Disney movies or make sure you don't show the newer ones to very young children. We have a funny family story about "Chicken Run" (I know it's not Disney but it was too intense for my kids) My little girl Jenny (then 2 now 6) watched it at my family's house. The next day was a nightmare for me. I was pregnant with our third child and a little more tired and sensitive but her behaviour probably would have bothered me even in a non-pregnant condition. She was in a panic all day about the "chickens" from the movie. Normally a happy and independent child, she would not leave my side or obey anything I asked her to do. She kept frantically talking about the chickens. Normally I was fairly calm and patient with my children but by the end of the day I was exhausted and sick to death of hearing about the chickens. In frusturation I finally yelled out, "Jenny....No more chickens!!!" She stopped and my husband ran out of his office laughing and confused...he still teases me about it to this day.

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