I’m a huge advocate for raising awesome, independent kids who are capable and competent in real life, age appropriate skills. So it should come as no surprise that my sons pack their own recess and fruit break for school. Maybe you do this already, without a snack station, but I’m going to share with you how easy it is to make, and how much simpler it will make your lunch box packing, and snacking on the weekends.
The whole reason I decided to make the kids a snack station was to make it a little easier for them to find their goodies and to remind them of moderation. This is what our snack shelf used to look like (judgement-free zone right here). It was difficult for anyone to find anything, and it was hard for me to see what we needed more of when I was making a shopping list. Plus, if I’m honest, I just love organising stuff!
I shared my inspiration on the Lunchbox Ideas Facebook group a few weeks ago and some Mums were shocked by the snacks in the stations, or said that if they left snacks out their little (and big) ones would devour everything!
So I just wanted clarify two things before we go ahead. I’ve had a snack drawer since my youngest was 4 and I’ve found that, for my boys, giving them that small freedom has made them very open about always asking if they can have something from the drawers (they still ask at 9 and 13), and knowing the snack drawer is off limits right before and any time after dinner.
As for the quality of snacks, we eat a range of wholesome foods and honestly, as long as they have their daily intake of fruit and veg, we’re not too worried.
What you’ll need:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – containerise, containerise, containerise!
Find some well fitting containers to suit your style or needs in the pantry. This is to divide snacks and keep them neat.
We went to Kmart and spent $34.50 but you could get away with much less if you utilise things you already have at home, like ice cream containers, shoeboxes and decorative bowls you never really use.
What we did:
- First I cleared the shelf where those snacks normally went, measured my shelves and packed some snacks into my handbag and headed out to Kmart
- Next, like lunatics, my Mum and I started pulling out all of the snacks and trying them in different sized containers to make sure we bought the best fitting ones – We measured them to make sure they’d fit on the pantry shelf too. I also bought some small containers to pre pack biscuits and crackers into for tuna, cheese and cabanossi, and french onion dip
- Once we got home, we washed out all of the containers, and then started organising snacks into categories
- I printed and laminated signs to put on each drawer in the snack station, to remind the kids of moderation. For example, the chip drawer says Take One.
I’ve made these signs available in a free printable PDF for you to download and print yourself. They fit these drawers and these drawers that we bought from Kmart perfectly. If you want to extend their life span, you could laminate them like I did.
So far, using our snack station has been working a lot better than having everything jammed in on the one shelf like we had before. It’s easier to find everything, which makes packing lunch boxes simple for little kids.
But the thing I love the most is the reminder of moderation with the signs. I’ve noticed since using them that my 9 year old is asking a lot more questions about what things he should be eating, and the quantities he should be eating, rather than just being told he can’t have more or needs to have fruit instead.
How do you organise your school and after school snacks?
Do you have a snack station?
Thanks for stopping by,