In the wake of the spread of coronavirus, mamas everywhere are trying to manage the distribution of snacks while remaining indoors. Sure mamas have enough granola bars, crackers, fruit bars and pretzels, but what do you do when kids ask for something every hour? How do we make sure they're happy while making sure there's enough food to last whatever the duration of the quarantine will be? These are tough questions, but mamas all over the country have shared their snack hacks on social media and we're so appreciative.
Here are some of the best viral hacks to help your family avoid going through all the snacks during quarantine:
1. Offer self-serve snacks
Buffalo-based mom Sarah Hornung is the school administrator behind The Eager Teacher blog and when she posted a photo of her fridge to her Facebook page she got thousands of shares and comments from parents who love her low-effort snack solution.
When Hornung gets home from shopping she just stocks the fridge door with ready-to-eat snacks that she's cool with her kids having access to. That access means they're not asking her for snacks all the time and the veggies aren't rotting unseen in the crisper.
"After grocery shopping I always wash and prep all of the food that is considered self-serve in our house. Self-serve for my kiddos means helping yourself without asking and it's always an okay snack (any time of day, bedtime snacks, etc.) There's something about having things truly ready to grab that makes kids eat it. I could leave the baby carrots in a bag or leave the grapes on the stems but they wouldn't eat it," she writes.
2. Use fishing tackle boxes
Last year, an Australian mama turned a $5 plastic organizer (originally used for fishing tackle) from Kmart to store snacks while camping, but we think it's a great snack hack for at home snack storage. According to product information on Kmart's site, the organizer is designed to store 'loose nuts, bolts, fishing tackle, sewing accessories, first aid items and stationery', but it's the perfect size for small fruits and vegetables.
3. Place snacks in colored-coded containers
When Jeffier Hallstrom realized she didn't have the luxury of spending $400 on snacks for a week, she decided to put snacks for the day in small containers. This way, each child can eat snacks when they want, but when it's gone, it's gone. "In the morning I put their snacks in it for the day, when those snacks are gone they don't get any more," she says. "It makes them stop and think, do I really need a snack? I also put their cup for the day in there because I'm not washing 50 cups a day!"
4. Repurpose baby dishes
Sure these baby silicone trays are great for storing baby food, but they are also perfect for keeping toddler foods like cheese, macadamia nuts, blackberries, raspberries, bell pepper and cucumbers.
"I fill each little compartment with a different snack, and they get to choose what they eat," says Cassie Milam, mama to three. "More often than not they eat everything, woohoo! I've found this is a great way to introduce new foods or reintroduce foods they "don't like."
5. Create a snack station
We love teaching kids independence, and having a snack table, is the perfect way to do it. Here's how to do it: First, grab two small side tables. Next, place a fruit basket on top of one and a basket of snacks on the other. Below the tables, have a box of cups, plates and bowls. This allows children to enjoy snacks throughout the day without disrupting you.
6. Or a snack shelf
Sometimes you don't have space for an entire snack station and we totally get it. If this is your situation, try clearing out a low level shelf in your kitchen pantry (or drawer or lazy susan) and place the snacks in labeled bins. Just make sure the snacks are easy for little arms and hands to reach them.