Why Popcorn Is the After-School Snack of Choice in Our House

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Universal Truth: When kids come home from school, they’re hungry. Do you remember being thirteen years old?

You walked in the door, devoured two large bowls of cereal — with milk! — while your mother cautioned you not to spoil your appetite. But she had nothing to fear, because there you were hovering in the doorway of the kitchen two hours later, starving for dinner.

One of my favorite smells when I was younger was popcorn cooked in oil on the stove. To this day, that’s how I like to make it, though I have branched out from canola and prefer olive or coconut oil. (Please try the coconut oil. It’s so good for you and it smells like movie popcorn!) Coming home in the afternoon and opening the door to that smell put a song in my heart. Popcorn is a social food, so I would usually sit down with my mother — or at least stay in the kitchen — while I ate it.

In our house, popcorn after school means homework can wait, dinner’s already in the slow cooker, and soccer practice has been canceled. Since we’re already at the table, we might as well play a classic game like Sorry, because the classics never get old. The conversation flows as the colorful pieces move around the board and the bowl empties.

What do you feed your children in the afternoon, during the seemingly endless (to them) hours between meals? Is there a snack that always inspires together time?

(Image: Anne Postic)