Snack Time! Kid size portions.

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We have regular snack times in my house…sort of. By that I mean that in between meals we have a snack or two or three. I try to limit the junk food/not-so-good for you kind to one per day but sometimes they are too good and stinkin cute to say no. That being said my kids will snack you do death if you let them! If your kids are like mine you hear “mommy, I want a snack” more than you hear anything during the day. Night time is reserved for “I’m not tired” and “I’m hungry” and other such stall tactics but during the day they are never hungry and always just want a snack.

We have a pantry in our kitchen and although it isn’t very large it does hold everything we need it to for our family of four. There are four shelves and some floor space and two of those shelves are for snacks. The second from the top is OUR (adult) snack shelf. Housed there are chips of various kinds, special cookies, breakfast bars, crackers and popcorn. The other snack shelf is the lowest shelf and contains four storage baskets. My kids are stubbornly independent so when they started to move stools and chairs over to the pantry to get their own snacks we decided to move theirs to where they could reach them.

With all their snacks being on the bottom shelf keeping them from eating an entire box of goldfish was hard. I couldn’t keep the cookies there either or they would ALL get eaten without us even knowing! Sneaky little monkeys…

snack travel size

Stores sell snack size bags of chips, cookies and crackers. We have purchased the lunch size packages of goldfish, cheeze-its, cookies, pretzels and chips. This, as you may know, is expensive. I mean REALLY expensive! For the price of ONE box of travel pouches of goldfish you can get the HUGE box of them at Sam’s! Or maybe it was two of the travel pouch boxes. My point is that it is WAY cheaper to by just the large or family size boxes and bags of snacks than it is the travel size.

The problem with that is you then have these big boxes that kids can just dump, get into for sneak bites, drop other things into and my favorite…eat part and put it back. That one is always great with cookies! (said no parent ever). In the face of those little gems it was more worth it to get the travel pouches. At least then I knew every time they were getting a bag of them.

In reality though it is NOT worth getting those little travel pouches. I LOVED the convenience of being able to grab bags and go, or put them in lunches and backpacks for car ride snacks. Trying to decide between the two options was ALWAYS insanely harder than it needed to be and I often alternated to save money. By that I mean I chose to save money and the next time chose to not have a slimey messy pantry with goldfish and cookie crumbs everywhere.

Eventually I came up with a solution to BOTH problems. Snack Bags! These little beauties are about 3 inches (maybe a little more) tall and as wide as sandwich bags. Best. Idea. Ever. I purchased two of them and then bought the family size boxes of goldfish, cheeze-its, graham crackers and M&M cookies. My kids normal and choice snacks for that week.

After I got home I opened all the boxes of snacks and the bags and got to work. I was able to put about my size handful of goldfish into one snack bag and the same for the cheeze-its. For the graham crackers I simply put 1 sheet broke in half and for the cookies I only put three in each bag. Brilliant!

This enabled me to put them in the baskets on the bottom shelf (I actually thought of that after I had everything bagged and it all fell all over) in a very organized way. The near OCD in me couldn’t have bags just everywhere! I had one basket with cookies and animal crackers, one with peanut butter and cheese crackers as well as graham crackers and one with goldfish and cheeze-its. The fourth had fruit snacks and whatever random snack was chosen, usually dry fruit loops (also snackasized!).

My new snack method was brilliant! It enabled the kids to get their own snack (which they did anyway) but allowed me to set portions, prevent mess and limit them to ONE bag of whatever it was. They couldn’t sneak any either since you can hear them rustling in them.

This method has been in place now for about 6 months and everyone is used to it and loves it.  Maybe not my kids as much, but they like it better since they can pick snacks at the store and get them all by themselves. Even us adults use it! It ensures we are not over indulging in our snacks and ultimately helps us make better choices for our snacks. We even have snack size carrot bags and grape bags in the fridge!

Great for helping with portions, limits on how many snacks and perfect to grab and go or put in lunches. If I could use them for ice cream portions I think it would be the best thing ever! Do they make snack size freezer bags?

“I think all kids need snacks. Do I let them eat ice cream? Absolutely. But not every day.”
~ Emeril Lagasse

Author: sandyz