Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Snack Packs

It's summertime. The kids are out of school, playing hard, sweating, coming in and going out my back door and my front door all day long/ They're building forts and tearing them down. They're swimming and slip 'n sliding and sprinkler splashing and puddle stomping.

And they're hungry.

All. The. Time.

I found something that works for me.

I make snack packs for them to eat between lunch and dinner. This eliminates the following:
  • "Can I have a snack?" --> The kids know that they can have whatever they'd like from their snack pack, at whatever time they need a snack.
  • Standing at the fridge with the door wide open. --> They simply grab their snack pack and close the door. They choose their item(s) and put the snack pack back in the fridge. Less electricity wasted.
  • Eating too much junk. I treat kids' meals and snacks this way: I will decide what to serve you. You will decide how much and when to eat it. By packing snack packs for the kids, I am giving them choices that I approve of.
  • Being wiped out of the "good" snacks on shopping day. --> I don't know about you, but my kids eat about six snacks per day on an active day. SIX SNACKS! EACH! The "good" snacks include freshly baked cookies, purchased fruit leathers, and anything that might remotely be considered junky. If allowed, they would devour those before reaching for fruits and healthier alternatives. By packing Snack Packs, I'm rationing the junk. Better for my wallet, and better for their bodies.
  • The hassle of preparing snacks throughout the day. --> Like I said, they eat a lot. Preparing snack packs takes about five minutes of my day, all at once, instead of having to prepare snacks all throughout the day.
And finally, the Snack Packs let my kids have control over their snacking. The first day I did this, Picky Eater ran out of food in her Snack Pack halfway through the day and was upset. I gave her extras, but I've told the kids that once it's gone, it's gone. The Snack Pack is meant to carry the kids over from lunch until dinner. Every day since then, it has done just that. Here are some example Snack Packs I've made the kids:

watermelon, strawberry Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries added, and Snapea Crisps

Jammy Sammy, two sandwich cookies, Pocky (yes, a junky Snack pack on this day!), applesauce, and a large strawberry

Watermelon, Blueberry Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries on top, and a candy necklace kit.


Samantha said...

Great minds do think alike! I love those little boxes - perfect for day by day snacks and the ever important keeping things separated =)

Love your blog! I had to bookmark it so I can come back and try some of your recipes.

Leslie said...

that is one GREAT idea! I get really frustrated with kids standing at the fridge looking for something better than the 5 things I've already suggested they eat. I'm definitely trying this!

heather said...

thats a great idea! we have a snack cabinet that my 3 yr old frequents. but he also goes for the baby carrots and fresh fruit in the fridge.

Pam said...

I really like those snack packs. That is a clever idea. Plus, I like the money saving aspect too.
BTW, I agree about the contest entries. Too many and I just give up. However, sometimes the companies require us to add entries about subscribing to their site, follow them on twitter, etc. or you can't provide a giveaway. Ugh!

Stephanie said...

I love this idea!

**** April **** said...

So, do you prepare a couple of these for the kids for the day and they eat a little and put it back in the fridge or are they eating this entire snack pack in one sitting and there are others waiting?

Also, are you using the little lunchable plastic trays or what are you using? I'm curious!

I have a 10 and a 5 year old and I'd love to use this with them...

Michelle said...

Hi April!

The snack packs you see are called Easy Lunchboxes, and are hard plastic and bigger than Lunchables containers. They come in 4-packs, each with a different color lid, so it's easy for the kids to tell them apart. They're really neat and available at

I pack one each day for each kid...usually, I put five snacks in there. They sit neatly on top of each other in the fridge. The kids go through them as they desire each day. I pop them in the dishwasher after dinner and make fresh snack packs while preparing breakfast. My kids are 6 & 11 and it works wonderfully for them. They like the freedom it gives them, and I like that they are only free to choose my pre-approved snacks. I don't include after dinner snacks, because that's usually a sweet of some sort and we eat it together at the table. The snack packs are solely for daytime/playtime. I hope that helps. :)

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

This is a great idea. It reminds me of the suggestion (for toddlers) in the Sears book to use a ice cube/muffin tray. I have a cupboard (floor level) that I put un-refrigerated snacks in (whole grain crackers and pretzals, puffed cereals) that my toddler can self-serve with (sometimes he brings the bag to me for opening). Great idea to have some refrigerated ones too, esp. for older kids.

Yenta Mary said...

I love these! Can I have one, too???

Keli said...

This is genius! I am going to start this with my boys - thanks for the idea!!

Tanya said...

I see your comment now that says where you found them...thanks.

Tanya said...

AWESOME idea! I am definitely doing this for the summer. I have one of the containers that you show, but have not been able to find them for several years. Where did you find yours? Thanks.

megan said...

This is such a good idea!! Wow, I never would have thought of this. no kids as of yet, but I am going to remember this. haha i need to make myself a snack pack each morning so I only eat pre-approved healthy snacks when I get hungry at work! :)

EasyLunchboxes (Kelly Lester) said...

Genius Michelle. Can't believe I never thought of this before. Great pics and presentation of a fabulous and simple idea. Telling everyone now to check this out on your blog! Thanks a million. :)

Kim said...

Great idea. I just received my Easy Lunch Boxes last week and am itching to use them. This will be done tomorrow!! 4 kids, 4 colour-coded boxes. And, I love your site and will be back...gotta get to bed!

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