I showed you yesterday how I organized my very small pantry to maximize space and efficiency. Part of that ongoing effort is making regularly consumed snacks easily accessible for my kids. 5 kids = lots of snacks. If they can’t get the snacks themselves that means mom has to stop what she’s doing to assist. After the 10th trip to the pantry or fridge for the 5th kid- it gets old.
I wanted the kids to be able to get their own snacks so when I redid the pantry I did it with that goal in mind. My kids are really good about asking before they get a snack- even the 13 year old is still in the habit of asking before he takes a snack. I wasn’t worried about them raiding the snacks or overdoing the snacks but if that’s a concern in your house then you might want to make your snack station on a higher shelf.
I started my snack station project in the fridge. I normally have a bigger selection of snacks in my bin but as you know if you follow me on Instagram, our old fridge died a slow and painful (at least for me) death over the weekend. We went out of town and came home to a disaster. We are upgrading all our appliances to stainless steel next year we bought a basic fridge that will work perfectly in our garage as a second fridge/freezer when we buy the new ones. Since we lost all the food in the fridge I have to make another trip to the grocery store to replenish our snack station. But this gives you a brief idea of how I organized the snacks.
I used a large bin on the bottom shelf of the fridge where the kids can easily see and reach. I stock it once a week when I go to the grocery store. I typically keep yogurt tubes, string cheese, fruit pouches, and I use the snack size ziploc bags to hold grapes, apple slices, berries, baby carrots, broccoli, grape tomatoes etc. I’m lucky that my kids love to snack on raw veggies and fruit so separating the portions into snack size ziploc bags makes it so easy for them to just grab what they want. I keep single serving containers of caramel & chocolate dip plus ranch dressing so they can serve themselves. It’s perfect and I always know which snacks I need to replenish with one glance.
One issue that was ongoing in my house was snacks going stale because the kids were not great at closing boxes or bags after getting a snack. By putting all the snacks in the pantry into plastic containers it eliminated that issue. The containers are easy for the kids to open (except Zoey she still needs assistance) and easy for them to replace the lids. The kids also know exactly which snacks they are allowed to get- anything in the plastic containers! Mase still needs a chair to reach the plastic containers but he can do it all himself. He can get a plastic bowl and pour his own snack. I use the small plastic bowls from IKEA so the portion sizes are perfect for kids. Another option is to use the small snack size ziploc bags just like I use in the fridge to hold the appropriate portion size and keep the bags in a basket or bin where your kids can just reach in and grab one.
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