I don't think it matters what type of "mom" you are...life is busy when kids are part of the picture.  Stay at home moms, stepmom, single mom, work from home mom, working outside of the home mom - all of our kids are asking, "Can I have a snack?".  I found a great solution to this common question!

My days as a daycare provider were crazy busy.  The kids were adorable and always had something cute to say but having 10 kids around each day led to some chaos, especially when it came time for everyone to eat.  The biggest struggle was not having enough hands to get everything done; setting the table, washing the kids' hands, cutting up the food, feeding the infants, cleaning up the mess...you get the picture.  (I even had one kid who hated peas and would fling them across the room with a spoon!)

I closed that door a few years ago but I had quite a few tips and tricks that helped the kids learn some independence and become the best helpers during meal time.  One of the best, and what I still use today with my own kids, is the snack drawer.

The Snack Drawer.  A drawer full of snacks that are perfectly healthy and at the perfect height for your child.

  • Find a drawer that is at kid-level.
  • Find a tote or basket that can fit inside the drawer (this makes it easier to pull out in case you head outside or if you need to fill it up...or easier way to clean if there is a spill.)
  • Include a variety all non-refrigerated snacks in this drawer.  Examples:  applesauce, small packages of almonds, yogurt raisins, cranberries, boxes of raisins, fruit snacks, granola bars, Goldfish crackers, etc.)
  • When it is snack time, the kids can head to the snack drawer and find their scrumptious snack...all by themselves!

Bonus:  when you are at the store, your child can help pick out the snacks to go in the drawer.  We would look at boxes and I'd have the kids look to see how many granola bars or servings the box had.  This was a great way to help the kids recognize and identify their numbers.  As the kids got older, they would hunt for specific ingredients or vitamins.  Sometimes we would even look for snack foods that could only have 5 ingredients or less...and they had to be able to say them.

What foods would you put in the snack drawer for your kids?  Share your ideas and what your kids love to eat in the comments!

Listen to Jessica Williams from 10am until 2pm on Y105FM