the magical snack shelf
“Mommmmmmm! Can I have a snack please!”
Rinse and repeat that statement with preschool receptiveness and end up in a world where you begin to completely and totally resent snacks. That’s where I was about a month ago… snack time crazy place.
We’ve been in the habit of having “to-go” snacks at the ready since toddlerhood. You know, the things you keep in your purse at all times to make sure that you can feed the starving child in any situation. Lots of squeezables and fruit. But snacks at home were more of a “parent powered” endeavor. We’d assist with the preparation and the portion sizing… on demand.
All it took was one crazy afternoon, where Lincoln and Memphis were nipping at my heels for their dinner and Miss L was asking repeatedly for a well-needed pre-dinner snack, that I realized something had to change or else my sanity would be out the window. I went upstairs, grabbed some glassine bags from the craft room and some washi tape, along with a spare plastic organizer box, and hopped to it.
I grabbed the big Costco-sized bags of snacks that we had in the pantry: veggie straws, pretzel chips, and Craisins. And I started divvying them out into sub-portion sizes in their own little bags.
Memories of our wedding out-of-town bags came flooding back to me, but I persisted… and kept filling them up.
I closed them off with a little piece of washi tape, and stuffed them into the plastic box, along with some of those ridiculously addictive bunny gummies from Annie’s as well.
Then, I neatly arranged them in this plastic organizer… and then began the cabinet rearrangement. I gathered up all of the snacks in the cabinet that were available to Miss L and put them on one kid-eye level shelf in the pantry (minus the drink pouches for out-of-house trips… they’re one shelf below), and explained that anything on this shelf was available as a snack to her. She still had to ask permission, but when it was given, she could get “1 snack” from the cabinet.
Now, fresh fruit and cheese and other goodies still exist in the house as snacks. But when groceries need unloading or a giant Bernese Mountain dog and his angry Boston Terrier buddy are starving, I can answer, “yes you can have a snack” and it gets taken care of on its own… It needs restocking every week, but for now, it’s working out just fine!
p.s. this is also awesome for heading out of the house… I can ask her to pick out 2-3 snacks to put in my purse, and we’re set for our outing!
I love the snack shelf right now.
I love that you let her choose her own snacks – way to teach her about self control and keep your sanity intact all at the same time!
Does the tape keep the air out? Or does she go through the snacks quickly enough where nothing goes stale? :-)
She goes through them pretty quick… but it’s decent at keeping them “fresh.” I nabbed a pretzel chip from a bag packed a week ago and it definitely wasn’t icky!
Sarah @ Eat. Bake. Sew. Love.
That’s a really great idea!! I don’t have a toddler, just a 3 month old, but I feel like I should do this for myself!