Kids eat a lot of snacks. If you don’t stay on top of snack prep, you can easily fall into letting the little ones eat whatever is easiest at the moment, and often, that is not a healthy choice. Since summer is fast approaching, you will likely have kids around 24 hours a day again (after just sending them back to school in many cases), and setting school-aged children up to be self-sufficient with healthy snacks is an excellent way to free up some of your time. Not only will a kid-friendly food storage system make your life easier, but it will also teach your kids healthy eating habits and responsibility, and that’s a win for everyone. Read on to find out how to put together the perfect kid-friendly snack storage system for your household.
Set up a drawer
This method for setting up kid-friendly snack zones is a great strategy both in and out of the fridge. Most refrigerators have a vegetable or crisper drawer, and most children can reach the drawer. Converting one of the drawers into a kids-only snack drawer will make your kids feel cool since they have their own special drawer, and it will encourage them to grab some carrots when they want a snack. Prepping carrot sticks, cucumber slices, grapes, watermelon, etc., and putting the pieces into small zip-top silicone bags makes it simple for kids to grab a bag and keep moving. You can control the portions in the clear bags, and kids can see through them, so they know what they’re grabbing to munch on.
You can use this same method with a drawer or cupboard in the kitchen or pantry, as long as the kids can reach it. Use the same pre-packaging method to dish out fish crackers, fruit snacks, dry cereal, animal crackers, and more into bags so the kids can grab and go. Side note, silicone zip-top bags are not only better for the environment since they’re reusable, but they are also safer for kids since plastic bags are not exactly safe.
Over-the-door shoe hanger
If you don’t have an extra drawer or cupboard to turn into a kid-friendly snack area, you can purchase an over-the-door hanging organizer and pack it with snacks in no time. Over-the-door shoe hangers are inexpensive and offer a ton of storage. They are usually transparent so kids can see through them, and you can label or color-code the different pockets as needed—maybe one color per child or one color per snack time. Since kids probably can’t reach the very top slots, you’ll get some added storage for adult snacks, too, so that’s a plus.
Snack prep is a great time to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Many kids can handle a small knife with supervision and help you chop veggies. If they’re too young for a knife, they can still put grapes or edamame into bags and help out. Helping is learning (like counting out six graham crackers for each pack), and kids will feel grown-up and proud that they helped with their snack.
If you want to prep small meals or lunches, clear containers are the key. We like to use clear deli containers—one for a half-sandwich and one for cut-up veggies for lunch. Since the containers are clear, kids can see through and know what they are getting. They are also stackable so that you can stack each kid’s lunch separately, and they are small and lightweight enough for little hands to handle (though they may need a hand getting the lid off). Deli containers are great since the lids are universal—this means when your children lose either the container or the lid under the couch, it’s not a huge deal since you have 20 more of the same ones.
As a parent, it is your job to guide your tiny human into developing healthy eating habits that they will carry throughout life. A great way to begin this process is by getting your little ones involved in the kitchen and their food choices. Since most kids won’t choose apple slices over cookies independently, you can help them make healthy decisions by putting together kid-friendly food storage systems. Kids will enjoy choosing their own snacks with no idea that you guided them into the carrots or melon chunks decision by eliminating cookies and chips from the equation. Clear containers, over-the-door shoe hangers, and a designated kid’s drawer in your fridge will help you get there, trust us.
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