What is one of the first questions your kids ask when they get home from school? When you ask how school was the answer is, “Good. Can I have a snack?” Part of the reason for this I think is that elementary kids, especially, eat lunch so early in the day. Find out how to create an after school snack station to make your life 10 times easier in the afternoon.
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After school in our house is more than a little chaotic. It is the same time that my husband is getting home from work and the kids are clamoring to tell me a hundred things. Add to that homework to be done and hungry kiddos, it is craziness.
That’s why having a snack station is imperative. The kids know exactly what snacks they can have and where to find them. This frees me up to give my attention to homework troubles, listen to stories from the kids, and welcome my husband home.
Create 2 Stations
Be sure to give kids plenty of options. Nobody wants to eat the same thing day after day (except me with tacos). This will help make your life so much easier. Your kids feel empowered to choose what they eat but you can feel good knowing you chose the options they have.
The easiest way to provide a variety of healthy snack options is to create 2 snack stations. One snack station is in the pantry or a cabinet for dry snacks. The other snack station is in the refrigerator for perishable snacks.
Dry Snacks Station
First, find a convenient space for your dry snacks station that little hands can get to easily. If you don’t have a pantry, store them in a lower cabinet that is within their reach.
We use a large plastic storage bin with a lid for our dry snacks. The kids know that they are allowed to choose any snack in that bin without question. Some of our favorite snacks to include are:
- Applesauce Cups
- Granola Bars
- Fruit Cups
- Boxes of Raisins
Perishable Snack Station
In addition to a dry snacks station we like to provide some perishable options as well. The easiest way to do this is to designate a snack drawer within your refrigerator. Another option, if you don’t have many drawers, is to use a small plastic basket on one of the shelves. Whichever you choose, fill it with snacks for the kids like:
- String Cheese
- Baby Carrots
- Apple Slices
Now that you know how to create an after school snack station you can focus on connecting with your family in the afternoon. Hopefully you’ll get more than a one word answer to the “How was school?” question. Even better, when you stock your snack stations well, you are less likely to resort to potato chips out of convenience.
Do you have any other after school snack hacks? I’d love for you to share them in the comments!
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