Snack Station

by Shae on July 3, 2012

One of the few things that drive me nuts about having the kids around most of the time is the constant requests for food. I’ve tried having a shelf in the pantry and fridge with help yourself snacks but it wasn’t working and I needed to find a solution.

 

I wanted the kiddos to have access to food when they were hungry and have a selection of things to choose from that was easy to see. I had been making “picky platters” or “monkey platters” but I was finding that I was throwing out food that wasn’t being eaten. Then this post at freeplaylife inspired me.

Keep all of the snack food in clear containers in a place that the kids can see it! I bought some new glass jars and made a permanent spot at kiddo height. I added a fruit bowl and some bowls and containers for the kids to fill themselves.

 

 

 

Things that have been favourites so far-

-nuts. We like almonds, cashews and macadamias-especially the honey roasted ones.

-corn chips

-crackers/rice cakes/crispbread. I help with putting spreads on if they want some on.

-dried fruit/fresh fruit

-home baked sweet stuff like brownie, cookies and jam slice.

 

I tried putting out things that needed to be kept cold but the heating vent is close by and the foods were not lasting.  I said to Luke that one of those little fridges with a glass door would be ace but there was no way we needed to spend the money. So I was keeping the cold stuff either in the fridge or on top of an ice pack.

The next week we were at my inlaw’s place and my Father-in-law is telling a story of the raffle he won at golf. He says that he won this funny little FRIDGE WITH 2 SHELVES AND A GLASS DOOR and he wasn’t sure what to do with it. I helped him with that and took it off his hands.

So we have a tiny fridge!

 

 

Fridge faves so far-

-hommus

-celery sticks with and without nut butter

-cheese

-falafel

-chicken and other cold meat

-hard boiled eggs

-cut up salad veg like lettuce, carrot and cucmber

-yoghurt

-chocolate

-smoothie

I also put leftovers in here that they can see and I can help them reheat like soup, sausages or pasta etc.

 

So our snack station-complete with water bottles- now looks like this-

The tables came from the op shop!

 

When I go shopping (once a week) I just refill the dry goods and I check the fridge supplies every couple of days and restock it with whatever needs to be chopped up etc from the big fridge.

I still make breakfast, lunch and dinner and when the kids are hungry inbetween they just help themselves! As they have always had access to food as they wanted it there is no gorging just because it’s out. Sometimes all of one thing is eaten in the first few days but that just means that they have to choose something else until I go shopping again next week.

I’m loving that I am not feeling chained to the kitchen and the kids are loving that they can see what is on offer and help themselves. Everyone wins!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy July 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

What an inspired and brilliant idea this is :-) I am also sick of the waste that goes with the monkey platters that I make for afternoon snacking most days. I am going to see if I can emulate your idea for non-cold snacks at least (not being in possession of a mini fridge, unfortunately…)

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kelley @ magnetoboldtoo July 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

LOVE IT!

Wish I had something similar to that when The Damn Emos were little. Would have saved me a lot of heartache thinking I had stuff in the fridge when cooking dinner to find that they had snacked on it.

Especially red capsicum. OMG

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Brooke Elmer July 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

This is a great idea… my little guy is a bit too small just yet to go the self serve concept, but in another 6 months or so this will hopefully still be in my mind to introduce!

One thing though, the energy conservationist in me can’t help but say: just check how much energy your little fridge is using… you don’t want to get a nasty surprise when your electricity bill comes in… it may end up costing more than a small amount of wasted food? (suggest using a calculator like this one {http://www.ausgrid.com.au/Common/Ways-to-save/Energy-efficiency-at-home/Understanding-your-energy-usage/SmallApplianceCalculator.aspx} … my hubby works in the field of running programs that audit energy use & teach people to save power… I wouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to have this fridge ;)

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Jo @Countrylifeexperiment July 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Brilliant! I am so going to steal this idea! Sometimes I feel like a short order cook trying to keep up with snack needs! I just need my father in law to win me a fridge too!

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om July 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Brilliant idea. Shared with my 500 homies on Facebook, hope you don’t mind!

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Super Sarah July 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Genius, bloody genius! I will definitely be planning something like this when the kitchen is done, I am absolutely over my children constantly asking me for food and the refusing whatever I offer!

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Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist July 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Build it and they will come.
The start of the ‘feed/snack station’ was born, and then FIL won the fridge.
That is so good.
Such a self-monitoring and self-organising idea, Shae.
WIN. WIN.
Denyse

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Laura July 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Such a cool idea :) Jack is starting to want to snack now – he is still to small to open jars etc but can take things out of a bowl!

LOVE the little fridge!

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Leonie July 3, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Wow!! that is totally awesome!! I love it!
And how cool is scoring the little fridge!

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kelli July 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm

what a great idea! the snack station would empty in one hit here unfortunately :(

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Leah July 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm

that little fridge is so ace!!!! it’s a great idea, not only gives you a break from the endless asking but encourages independence in this domain.

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Leah July 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm

which i meant to add, is something we are still working on with the 9yo who would quite frankly prefer silver service LOL

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April July 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

Brilliant idea! I agree about the monkey platters, lots of waste for us… That little fridge is perfect!

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Tanja July 5, 2012 at 6:09 am

That is so awesome…the fridge story = wow, and love your snack station.
So funny reading this post, we’ve been having similar issues and trying to find a way forward that doesn’t involve driving Mom & Dad nuts with “I want something” requests…So I’ve started doing a scheduled snack time (schedules are so against my grain) and been blogging it the last few weeks to try keep me going. So far so good…would love to set up a station like yours though…going to send out a cosmic wish for a fridge like yours :D

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Liz July 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

What a great idea! Love it.

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Sarah @fignutmum July 6, 2012 at 3:17 am

I love it!
Some days I go nuts trying to find food for the kids to snack on. And listening to the “I’m hungry, what is there to eat”
Well done.
Now to score myself one of those little fridges!

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wildecrafted July 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

While the idea is not new to me, yours is the very best set up I’ve seen. What an awesome way to do it!

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Ness @ One Perfect Day July 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Ive been meaning to do this for such a long time. Your set up is so clear and organised and so easy-access. I feel so motivated to just get this done now. Thank you! Pinning this.

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Prue @Modern Nomads With Kids July 31, 2012 at 11:02 am

What a great idea. My kids always seem to be asking for snacks when I’m doing something. The fridge was a omen, it was meant to be. Hope your kids are enjoying there freedom to explore snack options.

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