You all know that I love a good mama hack and this self serve fridge is definitely tippy-TOP on my list of things to finish ASAP! I have three kids and I feel like they are at the point now where they can all try to get their own snacks. And if your kids eat snacks, you know the requests are constant, right?! lol
Alright so how do you actually make this happen?! The first thing you have to do is determine which snacks you want to put in the fridge – so start by making a list and getting those things into your house. Once you’ve done the shopping, pick a day of the week where you will set up the section in the fridge. Ideally, you have your grocery day (ie Thursday) and your set up day (same day or maybe Friday). Make sure you have time to wash and prep the healthier things. There is a little bit of work involved here but once it becomes a routine, it will get easier and just like folding laundry. Oh wait…
Okay so! Self serve for us means to help yourself without having to ask. We’re getting there. It’s basically an area with always okay snack options (any time of the day). This also helps us when packing lunches because the options are right there! I don’t know why, but there’s something about having these snacks already ready and grabbable that makes kids want to eat them even more. I think its about decision fatigue. I fall victim to it, and I’m sure it’s the same for kids! I find that when I just leave a bag of grapes in the fridge, they don’t have much interest, but if I put the grapes in a little container and leave them in the fridge self serve area, my kids are more likely to eat them!
Also let’s be honest, the healthy things need to be balanced out with something crunchy or sweet or they are not going to be super jazzed about it.
What I Buy
Fruit: grapes, apples, strawberries, oranges (the cuties are easiest)
Veggies: baby carrots, baby bell peppers, cucumbers
Extras: yogurt tubes (dairy or non), squeezable applesauce, granola bars, cheese sticks
Sealable containers: plastic storage containers I prefer glass, but for the kids I am not taking any chances!)
Prep Everything on One Day
If you’re already planning to meal prep for the week, you may as well prep your self serve fridge section too! I suggest cutting up the fruits and veggies into bite size pieces, however things like baby carrots, baby bell peppers, grapes, and oranges don’t necessarily need to be cut up, depending on your kids’ ages. Once you’ve cut everything to the desired size, place them into sealable containers to keep them fresh. If you are a sucker for labeling, you can do that too. I like to wash and cut these things the day I grocery shop, I take them out of the bags, prep them, and into the fridge they go. Otherwise, I tend to forget about what I bought.
Organize For All Heights
You’ll want to keep in mind how tall your kids are. 🙂 You won’t want to put the containers up on the top shelf of your refrigerator, but the lower levels of the door might be a safe spot! If the door storage isn’t practical for you, maybe clear out a lower sliding drawer for reachable access.
If you’re able to help your kids have easy and quick access to healthier options throughout the day, while also being able to keep an eye out to see what they’re eating, while ALSO not having to deliver a million snacks – I’d say this is a win! And BTW, you can do this in your pantry too.