Well, we are going to be home all summer. And because of that, I am in desperate need of ways to tame the relentless snacking. So I created a snack station for the kids. This snack station is an easy way for anyone to manage all the snacking in between meals…with the hope that they will actually eat a meal. But who am I kidding. They will just keep snacking. So this little set up is a great way to monitor what they are eating and allowing the kiddos to be independent. 

How To Organize Kids’ Snacks For Summer

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Setting Up Snack Storage

To create a snack station, start by creating a specific space for the snacks to be stored. For us, I am using the kitchen counter. For clients, I have set up snack stations in cabinets by simply moving or adjusting the height of the shelves. Once you have a designated spot, it is time to figure out how you are going to store the snacks. I am using the stacking pantry bins from iDesign and The Home Edit for our snack station. These pantry bins are great because you can stack them to create a stand-alone station for snacks. This will help keep the kids’ items contained so they don’t end up all over the kitchen! Plus, these bins can hold smaller bins to keep the items tidy inside the pantry bins. This is perfect for storing apple sauces, pouches, and granola bars. You can stack them next to each other so things don’t get all mixed up.

So you figured out where you are going to set up the snack station and what bins you are using, but how do you decide what snacks to store?? Well, I suggest storing snacks that are easy for the kids to grab and eat on the go. Because if you kids are anything like mine, they eat as they are running out the door to ride their bikes or play in the pool. We love ordering bags of Cheetos and Pirate’s Booty on Amazon. The boxes are large and are already portioned. But if you have reusable sandwich bags, then you can make your own bags and store in the pantry bins as well! I love the reusable bags from The Container Store.

setting up a snack station for kids on countertop

Teaching Kids How To Get Snacks

Once the snack station is set up, it is time to teach those kiddos how to use the snack station.Yes, you can’t just throw this together and expect them to figure it out. For us, I showed the kids the snacks and explained that once the station is empty there are no more snacks for the day. The first day we did the station, they eat through everything before lunch. I was ready for this so I stuck to my guns and didn’t let them snack for the rest of the day. The following day, they realized that spacing out the snacks was a better decision so they got use to eating only when they were really hungry and not bored. 

But if you are setting up a snack station to keep the snacking at bay, remember that day 1 and possibly day 2 are going to be tough. So just prep yourself for that. Once the kids realize that you are serious, then they will start to ration out their snacks. Plus you sticking your ground in the beginning will help later in the summer when the kids are outside more and swimming/running around more.

child reaching for snacks on countertop snack station

Replenishing Snacks

The last part of organizing a snack station is replenishing the snacks. If you don’t fill that station daily, then it will be tricky to teach the kids to monitor their snacking. So I recommend adding replenishing the snack station as part of your end-of-night routine. For us, I clean up the kitchen by putting the dishes in the dishwasher, wiping the counters, and adding food to the snack station. Just simply adding the refilling of snacks to my kitchen clean up routine makes it easy not to forget. Plus I don’t have to deal with a hangry kid looking for snacks the following day!

how to create a snack station for kids

Setting up and organizing a snack station can be a sanity-saver this summer. Start by finding a location for where to put the snack station. Then find bins that work best. I love the stackable pantry bins from iDesign. Add in snacks to the station. Then teach the kids how to use the snack station. Don’t forget to refill the snacks nightly. Make it part of your end-of-night routine! Then you are sure to have kiddos who may actually eat at mealtime…haha that was a funny thought!