McDonald's may have cornered the market on the Happy Meal, but I lay claim to Happy Snax. These are delightful little bags of goodies you take along when you go to visit your grandkids. I made my first Happy Snax delivery this weekend, and I have to say (in all modesty, of course) that they were a huge hit with Sooby, Pooh, and Bootsie.
To assemble Happy Snax, begin with a brown or white lunch-bag-size paper sack. Decorate it with colored cut-outs from the Sunday comic strips. For my kids, I used mainly the Garfield and Peanuts characters. Try to match the characters to the age and personality of each particular child. For instance, I used Lucy for Sooby, a spongy drawing resembling SpongeBob for Pooh, and Linus with his blanket for Bootsie.
Next, choose from your stash of garage sale bargains an unopened, unwanted toy that some other kid got in a Happy Meal or Kid's Meal from one of the fast-food chains. Again, make appropriate choices for each kid. This weekend, Pooh got the "Gulliver" character in a wheeled boat, and the girls got Pet World toys. Gulliver, especially, afforded much entertainment for the quarter I spent a couple months ago for him and the other packaged Happy Snax toys.
The food items I put into the bags were the same for each child, except for the flavor of the Dum-Dums suckers. (I thought making them all identical might help to keep the peace, if you know what I mean.) They included a 10-ounce orange juice, a six-pack of Keebler peanut butter crackers, a NutriGrain apple-cinnamon bar, a Quaker chocolate chip granola bar, and a 1.5-ounce pack of Goldfish snack crackers.
Here, you would have many choices depending on what you have around or what you want your kids to eat--for instance, you might like Little Debbie cakes, small boxes of raisins, or a plum. This time, many of my items were leftovers I already had on hand, and this was a good way to make some extra space in the cupboard. To myself, I rationalized that these particular snacks represented an appropriate cross between healthy and junk food.
For the finishing touch, I folded the sack top over, punched two holes, and tied a ribbon on to secure the bag and make it seem more like a gift to open. The fact that the ribbon, another leftover, was imprinted with the words "Pool Party" didn't seem to matter. If I'd thought about it, I might've color-markered each kid's name on his or her bag to personalize it even more. But in my case, this was kind of a last-minute brainstorm, so I will have to wait until next time to do that.
I loved watching Sooby, Pooh, and Bootsie open and enjoy their Happy Snax. They turned out to be even better than I had hoped. If you are looking for a simple little something to take along next time you visit your grandkids, Happy Snax may be just the thing.