Are you ready to take control of your kids’ snacking habits? A few small tweaks can make a huge difference when it comes to their health and well-being, and you don’t have to be an organizational guru! With just a little planning, you can turn any pantry or fridge into a kid-friendly snack station that’ll save you time in the long run. Today I’m sharing a few tips and tricks for organizing your pantry or fridge so kids can get their own snacks.
By organizing your pantry and refrigerator in just a few simple steps, your kids can get the snacks they need with minimal effort on your part.
Originally published: August 2016. Last updated: February 2023
By finding clever storage solutions designed specifically for snack foods, you will create an atmosphere in which everyone can easily access what they need without having to dig through cluttered shelves. And best of all, you’ll be teaching your kids healthy eating habits as they learn how to choose their own snacks.
Organize a Snack Station for Your Kids
When kids come home from a long day at school, they’re usually hungry and want a snack. Putting together a few “help yourself” snack ideas will not only save you time but will also teach your kids to be more independent. Here are a few ideas for successfully assembling a self-serve snack station.
Step #1 Measure Your Space
Measure your pantry and refrigerator shelves to determine what size plastic bins will fit. Then, purchase a few plastic bins for organizing.
Step #2 Take Inventory
Take inventory of the snacks you have in the pantry and fridge. Throw out anything that is expired, and then divide your snacks into these groups:
- Chips and Pretzels
- Cookies and Crackers
- Snack Bars
- Yogurts and Cheese
Step #3 Organize Each Group
Organize each group into its own bin and label each bin. You can also add pictures to the bins to make it easier for kids to find what they need. Place the bins on a lower shelf where they are easily accessible to your kids. Do the same in your fridge with items that require refrigeration.
Step #4 Give Your Kids a Tour
Once everything is organized, give your kids a tour of the new pantry and fridge organization so they know where to find their snacks. If you have certain snacks they are allowed to eat after school and not others, be sure to go over the rules!
You can make it even easier for them by discussing what snacks they enjoy and which items they might like to mix and match then create a chart to hang on the inside of the pantry with their snack ideas. They can take a quick glance at the chart each time they’re feeling hungry and see what looks good.
This will hopefully keep them from staring into the fridge or pantry and saying “there’s nothing to eat!” This organization system also works well with items you use to pack their lunches. By creating a similar organization system and charts for them to follow, they will be able to pack their own lunches with ease.
related: How to Pack a Lunch for School Your Child Will Actually Eat + Free Printable Checklist
Not only will it make life a little easier for you to not have to pack lunches, your kids will also gain more independence by packing their own lunch. Better yet, they’ll get exactly what they want each day and won’t complain that you packed a lunch they didn’t like.
Tips for Organizing a Snack Station for Your Kids
1. Consider the age of your children. Choose snacks that are nutritious and won’t give them a sugar rush, such as nuts, fruits, veggie sticks, or whole grain crackers.
2. Label each bin or container with a sticker or label maker so that your kids know what they’re reaching for. You may want to include pictures for younger children who can’t read yet.
3. To make things easier, separate snacks into individual portions or baggies and store them in clear jars or containers that your kids can grab quickly.
4. Place the snack station at a low level so young children can reach it on their own and have easy access to healthy snacks when they are feeling hungry.
5. Create a chart that lists the snacks available in your snack station so that your kids can quickly check out what’s on offer and make their own decisions about what to eat.
6. Be sure to regularly replenish the snacks in the station with fresh and healthy options, and encourage your kids to try new foods.
7. Make snacks fun by arranging them in creative ways. For example, fill a basket with fruits and vegetables or create a unique design with pretzel sticks on a plate of hummus. Kids are more likely to choose healthy snacks if they are presented in an interesting way!
8. Have your kids help you put together the snack station, including labeling bins and stocking shelves. This will help them feel invested in the process and more likely to reach for healthy snacks when they are feeling hungry.
9. Finally, don’t forget to add a few treats here and there! Keep indulgent snacks out of sight and make sure that your kids understand which foods should be treated as special treats. This will help them learn how to make smart food choices and enjoy treats in moderation.
By following these simple tips, your family’s pantry and fridge will be organized with healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy!
How do I make sure my kids are getting healthy snacks?
When it comes to keeping your kids healthy, there are a few simple rules you should follow. First off, make sure the snacks in your pantry and fridge are mostly made up of foods that contain nutrients like protein, vitamins, and fiber. Examples include fresh fruit, trail mixes with nuts or seeds, whole grain crackers, yogurt, vegetables, hummus, and nut butters.
Second, limit your family’s intake of sugary snacks like candy, cookies, and soda. While these items can be enjoyed in moderation as a special treat, it’s important to make sure that the majority of snacks your kids are consuming are healthy ones!
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your kids get the nutrition they need throughout the day while also indulging in a few treats here and there. Having an organized snack station is a great way to do this! It will help your kids make healthy choices when snacking and
What are some clever storage solutions for snack foods?
When organizing a snack station, it’s important to think of clever and creative storage solutions. Here are some ideas:
– Glass jars or clear plastic containers: These work great for displaying and storing snacks like nuts, dried fruit, cereal, pretzels, etc.
– Baskets/trays: Baskets and trays are perfect for holding snacks like fruits, vegetables, muffins, crackers, etc.
– Labeled bins: Use labeled bins to store items like chips, granola bars, cookies and other treats that should be eaten in moderation.
– Drawers/cabinets: If you have more space, consider organizing your snacks like snacks in drawers or cabinets! You can use these to store items that you don’t want your kids to see, such as candy and soda.
By taking the time to organize your snack station with clever storage solutions, you’ll make it easier for your family to grab healthy snacks when they need them!
What other tips can I use to make snack time easier?
1. Pre-measure and pre-package snacks into individual servings: This will help save time and also prevent overindulging.
2. Have a variety of snacks available: This way, your kids won’t get bored of the same snacks and will be more likely to reach for a healthy snack.
3. Know your family’s food preferences: Make sure you have snacks that everyone in your family will enjoy.
4. Stick to a schedule: Having a designated snack time (i.e. after school, etc.) will help keep your kids from getting too hungry between meals and also help them develop healthy eating habits.
5. Keep it fun and creative: Kids are more like to choose healthy snacks if they are presented in an interesting way! Have your kids help you put together the snack station and come up with ideas for how to make their snacks appealing. This will keep snack time exciting and encourage your kids to make healthier choices.
6. Make sure snacks are easily accessible: Put them at eye-level or in easy-to-reach places so that your kids don’t have to search for them.
By following these tips, you can make snack time easier and healthier for your family! Having an organized snack station will ensure that everyone in your household has access to tasty, nutritious snacks that they can enjoy any time of day.