hack snacks

This week I’ve been sharing my top 3 game-changing tips for feeding my family healthfully and conveniently. My first tip is to automate breakfast (find out how, here.)  Another amazing tip is my dinner prep-time hack: “The Veggie Bar”. And my third favorite tip is to hack snack time!

Game Changing Tip #2: Make Healthy Snacking Fun

Here’s the problem with snacks: kids are coming in and out of the kitchen all day, especially during summertime. They’ll raid my pantry and open bags I don’t want them opening, tear them all the way open, and eat them in one sitting instead of slowly throughout the week like I had planned. It makes me want to put a lock on my pantry some days! They make messes and eat and/or waste expensive pantry items. They also fill their bellies with snack foods and then don’t want the healthy food I prepare for lunch a half hour later. Is it like this at your house? Maybe this will work for you as well as it has for me. All of the above problems are eliminated and my kids are happily getting more healthy food in their diet as a result.

I automate my snacks for my kids. When I get home from the grocery store, I make snack bags to last the entire week. One drawer in our fridge is designated as the snack drawer. The kids are taught that they’re allowed to get snack bags from this drawer, but anything else in the fridge is off limits or they at least have to ask a parent first.

I use snack sized ziplock backs and fill them with their favorite fruits and veggies. Some bags will have a small handful of grapes and blueberries. Other bags will have a single-serving sized container of hummus (I love how Costco sells a box of 12 single servings) with a few carrots and sugar snap peas thrown in. Choose your kids’ favorite fruits and veggies for these snack bags.

I also have a snack basket on the counter. In this basket I have snack baggies filled with different items: some have a handful of dehydrated fruit. Some have a few pistachios and a few cashews (my kids’ favorite nuts). Some weeks I pop a batch of popcorn and toss it in melted coconut oil and himalayan salt and make snack bags with a handful of popcorn. Here’s where you can also get “kind of healthy” snacks in bulk (like organic corn chips, whole grain pretzels, etc.) and break them up into snack sizes so your kids aren’t eating out of the huge bag in the pantry and burning through it in a day and a half!

It’s summertime now, and oftentimes the kids are off playing at friends houses. I have them check in with me every hour or two (they’re youngish 😉 ). When they pop in to say hi, I have them grab a snack bag and come sit with me to chat. Then I give them a drink of water and they’re off to play and adventure again.

Say good bye to cleaning up the mess that those bag of chips make and say hello to a more convenient and healthy way of snacking for your kids!

Another thing to remember for kids and adults alike: we will almost always go for convenience. If the first thing we see when we open the fridge is a Diet Coke and leftover muffins, that’s what we’ll grab more often than not. Having this healthy snack drawer as the first thought when we open the fridge lures us ALL into choosing the healthier option. We’re getting the healthy stuff first, which means we’re not hungry 10 minutes later for junk.

Comment below if you’ll try this hack next week!