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As a Mom, I’m sure you have heard the words more times than you can count “Can I have a snack?”, “I’m really hungry”, etc. As my children have gotten a little older, 5 and 7, I decided to give them a little more independence when it comes to grabbing a snack in the afternoon when they are hungry. I set up kid snack bins in my pantry and in my refrigerator. The kids know they can grab a snack from either bin when they are hungry but that when the bins are empty for the week, they are empty. This keeps them from going crazy with the freedom and teaches them to really think about whether they are hungry or simply bored.

In the snack bins, I put pre-portioned snacks that are healthy and satisfying and things that I am OK with them eating at any time. These can include homemade granola bars, Cheerios, pretzels, crackers, yogurt tubes, bags of fruit/veggies, no sugar added apple sauce, and packets of cheese cubes or cheese sticks. You can tailor your contents to the specific likes of your children as well as keeping it healthy.

The bin for the pantry is a little container that I purchased from the Container Store. I have noticed similar bins at some of the Dollar Stores that would work perfectly. It sits just inside the pantry door within easy reach. I will fill the bin up on Sunday’s and place it back in the pantry. The kids know that when it is empty, it is empty. This week I filled it with homemade granola bars, packets of Cheerios, and pretzel sticks. I usually purchase the inexpensive snack bags at the store to put the items in. I eventually want to switch over to containers that I can re-use.

For the refrigerator, I currently have a slim container but hope to make room for a larger one in the near future. If you have a refrigerator with an additional drawer, that would work perfectly. I purchased this little container at The Container Store and it was very inexpensive. I place this on a shelf that is easy to access for the kids. This week we have yogurt tubes and cheese sticks. I also have grapes to portion out to place in the bin for them as well.

I also keep refillable water bottles for each child in the refrigerator for those “gotta have a drink” moments to encourage them to drink water instead of additional juice/milk. We have a mini-fridge that I hope to incorporate soon in to the “kid fridge” complete with more refrigerator snack items, healthy juice boxes, and their refillable water bottles.

Do you have a way that you set up snacks for your children in the refrigerator or pantry? Leave a comment and let me know what works best for you!