Today we welcome for the first time, Kaitlin Krull, who is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.
Giving your kids the independence they want and need in the kitchen is an important step in their development. By letting them choose their own healthy snacks, you save yourself time and lay the groundwork for healthy eating habits later on in life. At Modernize, we know that organization in the kitchen is key in family life. Here are some tips to help you organize your pantry so everyone is happy at snacktime.
We all know that children need at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, and snack time is the perfect time to catch up on any missed servings. Keep a well-stocked basket of fruit at the ready so your kids can grab an orange, apple, or other fruit of their choosing whenever the urge strikes. Don’t worry about overeating here; your kids’ bodies will likely tell them when they’ve had enough—plus, it can’t hurt to have too much fresh produce in the house.
For snacks that require preparation, consider portioning out serving sizes ahead of time and storing in plastic bags or airtight containers. Nuts, berries, and seeds can all be measured out and stored safely in the pantry for a few weeks. The same goes for prepackaged dried fruit and crackers: if you can afford to spend a little more on these portion-controlled packets, it negates any prep time you might need and makes snack time even more convenient.
When storing your little ones’ snacks, keep perishables in clear jars or Tupperware. In addition to keeping your food fresher for longer, clear containers help you and your children see exactly which snacks are kept where and when they need restocking.
If you feel like you need to step up your pantry organization even further, consider labelling your snack shelves and containers with photographic labels. This way, even the youngest children will know where to find their favorite snacks and won’t have to ask every time. Take your labelling to the next level by posting a weekly snack list on the pantry door; this is particularly useful if you have kids who would normally snack all day long and helps to set limits on their food intake between meals.
Although this is probably a given, make sure your easy access pantry snacks are just that: accessible. Keep toddler and smaller child friendly snacks on lower shelves to encourage independence in even the youngest children. Place any grownup snacks out of sight and reach. You never know; you might forget about the naughty treats yourself and end up snacking on the healthy stuff late at night!
How do you organize your pantry to ensure kids have healthy snacks accessible?