Once upon a time, I was going to travel the world, write poetry, save the pandas and possibly win a Nobel Prize for something super epic. Then I had kids. And realised my actual life’s worth of being their snack bitch. For eternity.

Now, add in a pandemic, panic buying, potential school shutdowns and weeks of self-isolation and social distancing and what do we have? A lot of snack requests, that’s what!

Luckily some mums are awesome at organising. And snacks. That mum is Sarah Hornung, a school administrator from Buffalo, New York, who shared her epic snack hack on Facebook. And it’s just so deliciously easy to sort out too.

All you need? A selection of healthy snacks (we’ll get to some ideas later), some containers and a little bit of fridge reorganisation.

Sarah’s self-serve snack hack 

snack hack
A little prep goes a long way, especially when the kids are home. Source: The Eager Teacher/Facebook

Unlike my fridge door, which currently houses nearly-empty juice and an assortment of condiments we probably never use, Sarah’s fridge door holds a selection of containers, all of which contain yummy reachable snacks. Originally used for Sundays at home with the kids, we reckon it’s especially awesome during any potential lockdowns or school holidays, both of which are looming.

As Sarah explains,

Sunday self-serve is ready for the week. After grocery shopping, I always wash and prep all of the food that is considered self-serve in our house. Self-serve for my kiddos means help yourself without asking and it’s always an okay snack (any time of day, bedtime snacks, etc.) It also helps me when I’m packing lunches and snacks, or as a side dish when dinner doesn’t include something they will definitely eat or if we have a busy/late night.

Stocking your snack station

What’s on the agenda? Anything the kids can easily eat themselves without the need for you to wash (she’s already washed the fresh fruit and veg remember), chop, prepare or place into a special coloured bowl. This is as kid-friendly as it gets.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Fruit: Mini tomatoes, apples, pears, grapes, watermelon chunks, pineapple pieces, dried fruit, berries of all sorts and fruit pouches.
  • Veg: Baby qukes (Lebanese cucumbers) or chopped cucumber pieces, mini carrots and chopped pieces of capsicum.
  • Dairy: Yoghurt, string cheese or Babybel cheese.
  • Other: Snack packs of cheese and crackers, popcorn, Twiggy sticks, nuts (if your kiddies are old enough) and a couple of biscuits.

Sure, some of these things don’t really need to be in the fridge, but you might as well put all the snacks together and save your pantry from kid-destruction.

So easy and convenient  

The genius behind this simple snack hack is how much time you’ll save yourself during the day. My kids have an uncanny ability to request snacks in succession throughout the day. One will be hungry. Then, 15 minutes after, the other one will demand a snack. I may get a 10-minute break in between the “I’m hungry. Can I have a snack” requests.

Having them all pre-washed and ready to grab makes them much more appetising for the kids too. As Sarah explains, “I could leave the baby carrots in a bag or leave the grapes on the stems but they wouldn’t eat it.”

Such a good idea. And so easy too! Would your kids love a snack station? Or would they still annoy you every 10 minutes for something else to eat?

What to read next

Make the most out of the extra-time with the kids. Here are a few ways to keep everyone sane when social distancing or self-isolating:



Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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