It is 4:00 p.m. Your kids come rushing through the door from school, and the first words you hear are “Mom!!!!! I’m Hungry!!” They run to the pantry or fridge and then stare blankly at what is inside. They aren’t sure what to have to eat. You intervene and help them figure something out, and finally, after 15 minutes of empty stares, your child finally finds something to eat.
Fortunately for us, this is not the case! My kids never have to ask what they can eat for a snack nor do they say we’ve got nothing to eat. How? Simple. We use a snack basket.
I’ve used this practice since my oldest was around two years old. I found a wicker basket and filled it with mom-approved snacks. When she was hungry, we would go to the basket to find something to eat. We’ve kept this going, and now all three of my kids use our snack basket.
Since it worked for us, maybe it will work for you too!
WHAT IS A SNACK BASKET?
A snack basket is just what it sounds like – a basket filled with snacks. You can add anything you want your kids to eat, and leave out the things that you don’t! It makes grabbing a snack after school or when running to practice very quick and easy.
HOW TO MAKE AFTER SCHOOL SNACK BASKET
It is simple to make one yourself. It will take a few minutes each week to stock it and then, your kids will know what to grab to eat after school or on the way out the door to soccer practice (which saves you time and sanity).
To start, pick up snacks that your kids like to eat and that work for you. You will want to purchase items that don’t need to be refrigerated such as apples, bananas, crackers, cereal treats, and other healthy snacks. While it is convenient to purchase pre-packaged snacks, that can cost you more money.
Rather than get individually wrapped packages, you can purchase a large box. Look at the nutritional information to find out what they recommend as a serving size. It could be a number, such as six crackers, or serving size, like 1/2 a cup. Use snack size baggies or small containers and fill them with the amount for each serving. Then, add them to your basket.
The reason I recommend measuring serving sizes is to help make sure kids don’t overeat. It also makes sure they get a portion that is appropriate for their age and weight. When my kids were younger, the bags were not filled quite as fully as they are now that they are older. They also know they get one snack.
CREATE A FRIDGE SNACK BASKET
Since some snacks have to be refrigerated, you’ll want to have a second snack basket or location in your refrigerator. Add cheese sticks, fruit, yogurt sticks and cups and other healthy snacks to create yours. That way, your kids know they can go to either the fridge or the pantry to find a snack that is mom-approved.
SNACK BASKET IDEAS
When it comes to the snacks to add to your basket (either fridge or pantry), it can be challenging deciding what to add. Here are a few ideas you may want to use when making your snack basket:
- Graham Crackers (mini or full-size)
- Vanilla Wafers
- Club Crackers
- Ritz Crackers
- Granola Bars
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Nutri-Grain Bars
- Fruit Snacks
- Cheese Sticks
- Yogurt Sticks
- Yogurt Cups
- Cheese Cubes
- Celery with cheese or peanut butter
- Carrot sticks
Kids love the independence it provides, letting them decide what they want without having to ask. But, at the same time, they are only getting items that are approved by mom. It also saves time after school and when rushing out the door to soccer or piano practice.
It makes your after school routine a bit simpler and keeps you on schedule.