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Back to School season means there is usually a lot of organizing and stocking up on necessities. Even though Charlie will only be going for half-days, we certainly take advantage of the opportunities to stock up on things we need around the house.
A couple of years ago, I picked up a cheap cabinet (I believe it's probably for the bathroom) from one of our many local Facebook consignment groups. I had planned on using it to set up snacks for Charlie to grab from while I was tending to little brother.
This didn't end up happening right away and we eventually used it to store all the baby food and then it switched to just holding their plates and bowls. This week though, I finally made it over into what I had originally planned, our Kid Pantry!
Inside of this little cabinet, I'm able to keep snacks, juice boxes or pouches, and their dishes! They have access to what they need and want throughout the day without mom having to jump up at every demand (not that I necessarily do that anyway).
In theory, when the snacks from that cabinet are done, they're done for the week. Of course, there are cheese sticks, more fruit, and veggies available in the fridge.
To get started, you'll need to clear out a cabinet that will work for you. Check your thrift shops, consignment sites online, yard sales, and your basement! If you're in love with the cabinet we have, you can grab a similar one here.
Once you have what you'll be converting into your Kid Pantry, grab those bins that you have stored away or pick up a few at the store. I suggest a variety of sizes, so you can really make them fit where you need and make them work for you.
We're able to fit the kid's utensils in a drawer on the top, which was a real bonus getting those things out of my silverware drawer! Also, the kids can now grab their own without getting into ours, which may have a few sharp knives or peelers in it.
As parents, I think one of our goals is to make things easier. And I don't just mean on the kids. Having a Kid Pantry set-up that contains snacks, drinks and their dishes definitely makes my life easier. If they want a snack or drink, they can grab it (after Mom or Dad approval).
It will also help Charlie (4) learn he needs to ration out his favorites or he'll only have things he doesn't like as much by the end of the week.
Now, I know portioning out items into little baggies may seem like a task, but it's totally worth it in the long-run! If you do it once a week, it can definitely save you some time (and headache) later. I know when my boys want something, they tend to want it immediately.
I keep a bowl of fresh fruit up there, too! Another great grab and go snack!
What kind of snacks would you keep in your kid pantry?
Kelly @eclecticmomy says
I love these kids snacking ideas. I always have good intention to portion snacks for the week. It’s a great tip! #client
what a wonderful idea!! you make everything look so special. And I”m sure kids would love this!
Christina Almond says
I love this–never even thought of this exact idea! I bet your kids love it! 🙂
Julie @ Logger's Wife says
This is such a good idea. We have one shelf in the pantry with my daughter’s snacks, including a basket with snacks put into snack bags. It really does make life simpler. (visiting from Mom 2 Mom Mondays)
Kristina & Millie says
I love this idea, its so well organized. I have a feeling at my house it would be perpetually empty though. Thanks for linking up to Snickerdoodle Sunday!
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
I love this idea! We have one lower cabinet that we use for the same purpose, but I think getting a small cabinet (hooray for re-purposing!) just for them is an even better idea!
Kelly @ Mostly Homemade Mom says
This is a great idea – especially with the kids running in and out of the house with school starting up again soon! And OH how I miss Acme, we live in central PA now and there aren’t any near me unfortunately…
Oh man… We used to have 3 in my area, but that was about 10 years ago now. We’re down to just 1, but they’ve remodeled somewhat recently, so they’re here to stay! 🙂
Diana Rambles says
Great idea to have something on their level!!
That is such a smart idea! I love that it’s so easy for them to reach and they know exactly what they can take. So cute, too!
This is something I definitely need to do! My boys are 3 and 5 but are constantly hungry and I need to ration their eating somehow.
Blanca D says
This is great! so much easy not only for us as mom, but for the kids.
Alayna @AlaynasCreations says
I think that’s a great idea! When my kids were little I tried to make sure they could reach everything and all the snacks were handy but we’ve moved since then and I had forgotten how much easier that kind of set up was on me. Thanks for the reminder!
I am co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty link party this month and would love to have you stop by for a visit. The door is open for the current party through Monday night. http://alaynascreations.co/2015/08/14/home-matters-linky-party-50/
Sydney @Tastefully Frugal says
What a GREAT idea! I definitely need to set one of these up for my boys. I really like the ideas of setting up portions that way they don’t gobble down a whole box if cereal in a few days.
Trish @ Candle Junkies says
This is such a great idea, I need to start organizing like this!
I like the idea of portioning the cereal too.
I do this for my boys 4 and 5 so if I’m busy with their sister (4 months) they can still eat. I stock mine with real fruit bars, raisins, granola bars (Costco box of 69 for 10$), handy snack crackers and cheese, I individually
Pack crackers (ritz, Breton what Evers on sale) squeezable apple sauce (Costco 20 pack for 6$) individual cookie packs like thinsations (Costco 5$ for a box of 50) then I also have a bin for breakfast stuff oatmeal, bananas, pop tarts, little boxes of cereal.
And I also designated the bottom drawer in the fridge to them too. So I cut up fruit and veggiesand pre pack it for them too. I make carrot and grape packs, carrot and cucumber packs, yogurt fruit cups juice boxes oranges apples. Cut up melon, cut up kiwi.
It’s been my life saver. They can get their own snacks (with approval of course) and it helps them to make smart food choices They are often negotiating one more snack by sugar content. Lol ( “please
Mom I will pick vegetables so there is no sugar”)
It takes me about an hour a week. I try and do it all when I get home from shopping. Oh I also got some tiny reusable plastic containers from dollar tree for dip for the veggies for
My own snack drawer (my kids don’t like dip)
Christina Aleman says
I just love this very clever idea.
dee priser says
I really love this idea- two of my coworkers have little ones that often visit us in the office, and I happen to have an extra cabinet that’s currently just taking up space! I think I’ll definitely have to do this for our office!
Susan Smith says
I would put fruit snacks, fruit cups, granola bars and crackers in my kid pantry.
Wow, I found this awesome post through Pinterest and I love this idea very much.
I just came across this and I think that it is one of the most useful posts I’ve read in a while – and I don’t even have kids. It is one of those things that when I clicked the thumbnail to read the description, I was in that “Why didn’t I think of that?!” thinking mode before even going on to the actual site. The concept is so simple, especially in the way yours has evolved over time (and will even more) as your kids grow.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are other pins out there with the same idea, but I have yet to see one. Most of my time on here is spent looking at organizing/storage tips (which show a lot of pantries and Only one do I recall having the kids snacks on the bottom shelf, and not portioned unless bought that way). I also look up diy or repurposed furniture a lot. I have found a ton of kids bedroom re-dos and furniture redone and put in a child’s room.
As far as a pantry for the kids though, nothing. Now, if you need a creative way to make basically that for your dog, you can find them anywhere. Put their bowls in a drawer they have a pedal to push to open, then it only opens enough for that so the back can store the extra. Crates or dog beds that blend in with your furniture so well people don’t notice. It’s like they build or buy around the dog!
Anyway, I know you probably don’t like to think about this, but imagine once your kids start getting older and needing lunch for school. Add some zip-locs and and after a week I bet even in kg they can do it alone. You may have to add a sandwich or something.
I just realized that based on the dates of the other comments, they are probably way past that point. Whoops. Once I get started my mind keeps going…I have a list going in my head of ways it could work based on the age, kid, family, etc. now I just need a baby!