Organize: Create A Snack Station
When I go to my pantry and find half empty boxes, where I thought there were full boxes, it makes me so frustrated. When you have children who are independent, they will often leave a mess of empty or unsealed bags in their wake.
By creating a location in a pantry for single serving snacks, it helps to eliminate the frustration of the empty boxes. Create a cupboard or basket in your fridge that is the "Snack Station". Tell household members, including adults, that this is where you find your snacks. Only take from these location unless you ask for something else.
The Snack Station will also help with packing lunches, either making it easier for you to grab or for your children to pack up their lunches.
Set some guidelines for how to use the snack station.
Depending on your children's ages, you may require them to ask before going into the cupboard, or simply allow them a certain number of snacks after school or after supper, on the weekends, etc...
You can go as far as having bins labeled with "Healthy" and "Junk" options.
Consider creating a rule similar to:" you can have 2 healthy snacks and before you pick a junk snack".
Cookies, Chips & Crackers
With cookies, chips and crackers, I purchase in bulk sizes and portion them out in plastic baggies or containers. Then when they grab a snack, I know they are eating a serving and not the whole package.
Carrots, Celery, and other fruit or veggie options
Prep healthy snack ahead as well. If they need to be peeled (orange or clementine) or cut up (Carrots, cauliflower, etc) then have them ready to grab an go. It may surprise you how often a child, or even an adult, will select a healthy snack option if it is ready to eat.
Pudding, Fruit Cups & Yogurt
Remove outside packaging and break apart so individual servings are easy to select quickly.
I find that by taking the time to portion out our snacks, we are more aware of what we are eating and there are no partially empty boxes in my cupboards.
Once portioned in bags or containers, use a basket our larger container to hold each type of snack. Label the bins with healthy or junk.
With a younger child, labeling with numbers works best, (1,2&3). Then put the junkier snacks in bin 3.
Do you have a cupboard of half empty boxes? Please share your ideas and tips for organizing your snacks.