Jan Gambino Jan Gambino's Blog

From Diaper Bag to Snack Bag-Eating on the go

At some point I went from carrying a diaper bag to a snack bag. At first, the diaper bag carried the usual assortment of baby gear and went on every trip from the food store to the cross country plane ride. When my daughter with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) didn’t need extra clothes and diapers anymore, I was tempted to ditch the bag. She still needed to eat frequent, small meals all day long. In addition, she had an “eating window” meaning she did most of her eating during the middle of the day. This is a very common eating pattern reported by parents of toddlers and children with GERD. It was always challenging to get calories and nutritionally balanced eating in during this limited time frame.

As time passed, the diaper bag morphed into a snack bag. It was so much easier to keep the newly named “snack bag” by the door, ready for any excursion. Water bottles fit in snugly in the baby bottle holders and there was plenty of room for little containers or baggies of pretzels, cereal and other foods to sustain my carbohydrate junkie for running errands and driving the carpool. Siblings and friends thought it was great to have food on demand. The kids in the carpool would get buckled in and immediately want to know the menu selections for the day! It was wonderful having hungry, healthy role models surrounding my reluctant eater in close quarters. Sure I fed the whole neighborhood but it was music to my ears to hear, “Yum! I love this kind of pretzels!” rather than my daughter’s usual negative feedback.

I finally transitioned my daughter to her own snack bag. For years, she carried a small insulated bag with her to school and outings. It was just big enough for a drink and small snack and she liked having control over the snack selection. Eating small frequent meals helped her to catch up on her weight when she hovered on the bottom of the growth chart.
As a mom, it felt good to implement an important part of her reflux treatment plan with the goal of decreasing her need for medication.

In the end, it was a relief to ditch the diaper bag/snack bag and have her carry her own snacks. I am not sure if it is noticeable, but I think my shoulder still sags slightly from carrying all of the extra weight!


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