08 Aug Organizing Your Kitchen for the After School Snack Attack
When the final school bell rings, kids often rush home looking for something to eat. For a parent who is unprepared, this rush can be a stressful moment as you search for something delicious yet nutritious to help your kids through an afternoon of homework and other activities. Luckily, getting prepared just takes a few quick organizational steps. Following these five steps means that never again will you fear the phrase, “Mom, I’m hungry.”
Step #1: Clean it out.
Before you implement any sort of new organizational method, the first thing you need to do is clean out your kitchen. Go through your cabinets, your pantry, your fridge and freezer and throw out anything that is stale, expired, or turning weird colors. You’ll be amazed at all the extra room you’ll have.
Step #2: Identify your snack spots.
The easiest ways to make your kids self-sufficient is to place their snack food where they can reach it. Choose one lower cabinet, a lower shelf in your pantry, or a specific shelf in the fridge to store all of your after-school snack items. This way, instead of rummaging through the kitchen, your kids will always know exactly where to look for their favorite treats.
Step #3: Create snack-sized options.
Most food companies create pre-packaged “snack size” options of your favorite treats. You can also create your own by portioning out food items in small plastic bags. Some great healthy choices include homemade trail mix, apple slices, frozen grapes or bananas, or homemade muffins.
Step #4: Invest in reusable bins.
Of course, that cabinet or those shelves can quickly become a cluttered mess. To help keep yourself organized, invest in some reusable bins that fit within your designated space. Whenever you buy or make a snack item, take them out of the original packaging and store either the snack sized bags or your own self-made proportioned bags into your larger bins. The best options are clear bins with lids, so that you kids can quickly identify what is there while protecting what is inside. This will also help you to know when you need to replenish your stock of snacks.
Step #5: Make it easy to throw it away.
Of course, any time you have snacks, you are going to be left with some sort of mess. Make it easy for your kids to dispose of their trash with easily identifiable trash and recycling bins. You will also want to have a special spot in your cabinet where you keep clean cloths or sponges so that your child can easily clean up any spill or crumbs.