It seems my kids are always hungry! Even when I make them 3 big meals a day...snacks are an ever present request. I don't mind if they snack, as long as it's on healthy things. What I mind is the umpteen interruptions in my day to prep and clean up from the snacks. And I really don't like finding random cracker boxes and string cheese wrappers about the house. Really. Don't. Like.
So you'll understand why this idea I found on Pinterest was something I wanted to implement in our home the minute I saw it! Snacks that the kids can easily access, full of healthy treats, pre-packaged into snack size portions. I made one for the fridge and one for the pantry and placed them both on lower shelves the kids can easily reach themselves.
Fridge Snacks: Box #1 shelled edamame with sea salt, baby carrots, celery sticks, mini cups of peanut butter and ranch dressing. Box #2 Sugar free jello, applesauce, apples, squeezable yogurts, string cheese, hard boiled eggs, quartered oranges, sliced turkey, and green grapes.
Now the kids know, they can eat anything off the bottom shelf, anytime without asking, and without needing my help. (This Mom is doing a happy dance!)
Pantry Snacks: Roasted almonds, shelled pastachios, lowfat graham crackers, wheat thins, cheddar & parmesan goldfish. I also plan on adding bags of my Lowfat Granola, pretzels and some dried fruit trail mix after I shop this week!.
All this dividing and pre-packaging is a little more work for me in the beginning - but I foresee it making the rest of the week easier, so I'm okay with the extra (one time) prep! The girls also help me pack their lunches each night before bed and I envision these "snack stations" making that process much easier as well. Some of the items are even things Matt and I will reach for through out the day. I think it's an all around WIN when everyone in the family can easily make a healthy choice!
Speaking of food...This week our table will be full of:
Monday: Prosciutto, goat cheese & basil calzones with roasted baby pear tomaotes (an old recipe from the restaurant...the kids get pepperoni!)
Tuesday: Kobe beef burgers with zucchini "fries"
Wednesday: Mexican Pizza with fresh pineapple
Thursday: Spaghetti with meatballs and green salad
Friday: Santa Fe chicken wraps with fresh strawberry lime mojitos (just lime-ade for the kids!)
Notes: I use Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough for the calzones. The Kobe Beef burgers are also from TJ's. I don't know what I'd do without that place!!
Do you have any organizational/pre-prep ideas that help your busy life run smoothly? I'd love to hear them! Need/want an invite to Pinterest (so you too can have WAY TOO MANY awesome ideas at your fingertips?) Leave me your email in the comments and I send you one. I get lots of my menu plan inspiration from there too. Happy Monday!