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Create your own fridge snack station for your kids for easy access to healthy snack foods during school holidays and after school. Say goodbye to the constant requests to fetch them a snack, since they will be able to help themselves instead with these simple snack station ideas!
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How To Set Up A Fridge Snack Station
During school holidays, weekends and after school, my kids were always asking what they could eat and making constant trips to the refrigerator and pantry. Every single time we would go through the same list of current offerings, even if we had just run through it an hour earlier.
My kids are old enough to be self-sufficient with most snacks now. However, they are young enough to still need guidance on what to choose or what is allowed. Some foods are only sometimes foods and they know this well.
Other snacks, we give them free rein of to snack on as they please, with the exception of just before a meal or bedtime.
This brought me to the idea of having a snack station set up in our fridge for the kids to choose from.
What Is A Fridge Snack Station?
As the name suggests, a refrigerator snack station for kids is a designated area with snacks they can choose any time of the day. This is set up in advance with a variety of healthy choices, allowing them to open the fridge, grab the snack they want and not have to ask each time.
This means we aren’t interrupted 40 times a day (okay… that’s a slight exaggeration) on something they can manage independently. It also means they aren’t having to wait for me, or another adult, to fetch a snack for them when they are hungry between meals.
How We Set Up Our Fridge Snack Bar
Our refrigerator snack system is nothing fancy. It is actually just a large container that sits inside our refrigerator that I load up with healthy snacks. Each morning I make sure the container has a variety of snack options for the day ahead. I also let the kids know if there are any limits.
For example, they know a yoghurt pouch or muesli bar is limited to one per day, however, fruit and vegetables are unlimited.
The container makes it easy for them to access, rather than sorting through the fruit drawer or pantry each time. It also gives them the clear signal that snacks included in the container are fine for them to help themselves too.
Other Refrigerator Snack Station Ideas For Home
Any medium-sized container is perfect for setting-up your own home snack station for your kids. It does not need to be anything fancy. Alternatively, you could use a lunch box with an easy-open lid. We prefer a container with no lid to make snacks easily visible and accessible for our kids.
If you have a spare drawer in your refrigerator, this can also be a great option. Many refrigerators have a dairy drawer that works well for this purpose. Use it to create your own snack shelf.
Or add your own hanging refrigerator storage tray instead.
What To Include In a Kid’s Fridge Snack Station
What you include in your snack station is up to your personal preferences and your child’s dietary requirements and restrictions, however, these are a few ideas on items we like to include:
- Fruit – bananas, grapes, berries, apples, mandarins
- Vegetables – peeled carrots
- Cheese slices
- Museli bars
- Homemade muffins
- Bliss balls
- Cheese and crackers
Packaged pantry items are fine to go in the fridge. They are sealed so it won’t impact their freshness. This includes items such as individual bags of popcorn and chips.
Tip: For biscuits and similar, you may need to keep in a small airtight container if storing in the refrigerator.
Alternatively for pantry snacks, you may want to consider setting up a separate pantry snack box for your kids as well if you are limited on refrigerator space. We have done this in the past although prefer to direct them to the healthy fruit options first so mostly focus on the fridge snacks for our girls.
RELATED: Pantry organisation tips and ideas
While it may be a very simple idea, setting up a snack station is encouraging your children to become more independent.
The simple act of helping themselves to a snack means using decisiveness to choose what they want to eat and doing this for themselves, instead of always relying on you. This is a great way to help them learn more responsibility. It teaches them how they are capable of many things they expect others to do for them.
A snack station in the fridge is aimed towards older children. This means those who are able to open the fridge themselves and choose appropriately.
Sorry mum and dad… you’re still a slave to your toddlers for now!
Snack Recipe Ideas
If you want to include homemade snack recipes for your child’s snack station, here are some great kid-friendly recipes to try: