Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Fall List :: Snacks

Now that summer is coming to an end, and school starts for us in just under a week, I am determined to get a few important things around here organized before life starts to become even more hectic for us. A few weeks back I started making a list of things that were just not working for us and really needed to get changed.
Here's how the list basically shaped up:
Not written (and a BIG deal around here) is our family room. That is a project I am very excited to say is under way! There is just no way that it is getting done before school starts. Maybe by the end of the first week???
I shared with you when we did our pantry overhaul that I was planning on revamping our snack situation. That was first on my list, since I promise you the word "snack time" comes out of my children's mouth 1654548 times a day {as in "is it snack time?" "when will it be snack time?" "I'm hungry, can it be snack time?" etc, etc, ETC}.
The system I put into place has been in effect for over a month now, and I have to say, we LOVE it. It's so easy, and I swear has saved us tons of money already. Here's what I do.
Essentially, we have 3 snacks a day. The first one I set up for them to have in the morning, before breakfast time, in an effort to allow me to sleep in to a somewhat normal hour. It consists of {almost always} fruit. Sometimes I cut it up, sometimes I just offer whole fruit, like pears.

The other two snacks are split between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. 
For the first snack, they are allowed a "dry" snack, which are the ones we keep in our pantry. Once it's snack time, the kids can each pick their own, so everyone is happy.

Dry snacks are pretty simple and often consists of things that we find on sale easily, like granola bars and crackers. I do have a few standbys:

one: {this is a kiddie favorite!} the deconstructed s'more- graham bunnies and a few marshmallows and choc. chips
two: Popcorn! I love to mix this with healthy cereal, raisins, nuts, and few choc. chips {I find that even if I only put 3 choc. chips in anything, the kids will grab it...go figure!} Popcorn will stay fresh in a container up to a week...I've been told :)
three: goldfish crackers mixed with pretzels
four: animal crackers with yogurt covered raisins, and sometimes a marshmallow
five: just crackers. simple...but the little guy always goes for this!
six: walnuts, raisins {incl. yogurt covered raisins} with a graham cracker
One of the things I love about this system is that since all the snacks are pre-portioned, I save money by buying the big tubs and doing the dirty work myself. Also, I can control portion sizes better. Plus, it makes it super easy to grab a snack and go when we are heading out the door.
The last snack are "cold" snacks and are typically the healthiest. I just bought three plastic bins from Target that we place in our fridge:
Once again, I portion out most things myself, but I do usually buy things like yogurt to throw in there as well. Here's a look at some general things that you will find in ours:

one: applesauce---easily one of their favorites! I buy the big jug and portion out in small cups.
two: pretzels with hummus (note: hummus stays better if you store it in it's own smaller container, like in picture 3)
three: carrots and ranch
four: build your own ants on a log. (PB stores better in its own, smaller tub as well)
five: pretzels (or crackers) or grapes stored with string cheese. At first, I was hesitant to put pretzels/crackers in the fridge, but I figure kid's love lunchables, and that's basically the same thing.
Things I love:
 When we buy a big back of string cheese, it now actually lasts us longer than 3 days :).
Since the second snack HAS to be a cold one, the kid's are often forced to eat something healthy hehehe.
The system has been super easy to keep up with; it takes me maybe 15 minutes to refill snacks when we are just about out. (I don't refill until we are just about out, because I know that my kids would just eat all the good stuff first and never touch the other the carrots :)  )
When it's time to refill, I just grab all my essentials from my pantry (or fridge-depending on which one I'm doing):
I store most of my back up goods in one tub in our pantry, so it's easy to just pull it out. Next, I grab the containers.

{our tupperware system was a little chaotic, but I have found it easy to maintain by having one large tub for all bottoms, and one large tub for all lids in one of our cabinets}
I don't even mind doing this chore, because it's such a sense of accomplishment I get after just ten minutes of work to see our bins over flowing with food {and knowing that I have less work to do when it comes to snack time!!}
The other change that rocked our world? Water. MmmHmm. As in no juice during the day, and you can fill up your own glass, by using the jug we have in our fridge:
{we just fill it up with with gallons from the store...this one holds exactly one gallon-perfect!}
It's such a simple idea, but it has saved me a ton of juice-getting work. And the kids drink more water now :)
So now, our fridge looks like this organized beauty: {WARNING! our new house is much larger than our last, but came with **sigh** much older appliances. In other words, try to look past the hot mess that is our fridge and see the beauty of an organized {hot mess}. ha!!}
As for the list, we are well underway on many of the other items! I have been DIYing my little heart out over here, between this list and our family room, and I CANNOT wait to share some of the awesome projects that I have been doing!
Also, be sure to stop on over to The Celebration Shoppe to see some of the awesome links to projects that other bloggers have done- and to see the Jungle themed baby shower I threw a few weeks back....thanks for the shout out, Kim!



1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how organized and neat your fridge is. Truly amazing! And I bet the kids love it too!