The Grazing Kiddo
While I love a good solid meal, I’ve always been a huge snacker and that is definitely something I passed down to my kiddos.
All 3 of them are good meal eaters (most of the time), but they are also all-day grazers.
While I’d love to say that their snacking habits never cause a problem in our home, they definitely can!
Having kids that are grazers means snacks disappear too quickly and sometimes meals are skipped altogether. Leaving me wondering if my kiddos are truly getting the nutrition they need!
However, it can also be an absolute blessing on those nights I just don’t feel like cooking.
Whipping together a quick snack platter is not only easy, but my kids totally love it.
With that said, I truly believe that creating balance in our snack eating habits is key to a healthy relationship with food.
While I don’t like to punish or take away snacks, sometimes limiting snack choices and guiding kids toward healthier options or encouraging them to wait till the next meal is important as well!
DIY Snack Station for Kids
There have been a number of different ways we have handled snacks in our home over the years.
From me rationing out snacks for the week into individual bins (1 per kid) to me only handing out snacks on my terms.
While the bin thing worked for a while, it got to a point when a certain child finished their snacks for the week they would sneak someone else’s, causing bickering and distrust.
We won’t even touch on the whole me handing out snacks on my terms thing, because it never, ever worked.
Snacks would disappear from the pantry and my frustrations would rise.
Thus why I created a simple daily snack station with my kids, for kids.
Honestly, this really didn’t take me much time to throw together and I had a really fun time doing it so it was a huge win in my book.
Plus, I let my kids be involved every step of the way.
Thus making it something for them to be excited about too!
My absolute favorite thing about this snack station though? It’s portable.
This simply means that our snack station can change location with ease.
Whether we are utilizing our homeschool room in the basement, working on lessons at the kitchen table, or hanging out outside for the day.
This simple snack station can tag along for every adventure.
Snack Station Supplies
Creating our portable snack station was super easy, you guys!
With just a little brainstorming, a quick online order, and a few simple items, I was able to create this awesome tool in no time.
If you like the idea of leaning on something simple, portable, functional, and yes, even decorative, these are the tools you will need to create your very own DIY snack station for kids!
A Decorative Tray
While some snack stations are large, filled with cute bins, and 100s of snacks I knew I needed to create something more simplistic for our home.
Thus why I chose a simple decorative farmhouse-style bread tray for our snack station!
This was such a fun buy, you guys!
I absolutely love the rustic/farmhouse look and this tray fit in with my kitchen perfectly.
Plus, the fact that a tray was portable, made this an even better fit!
Sometimes it sits on our counter, other times it stays on the kitchen table.
This tray travels around our house and I absolutely love it!
While the tray we use is no longer available for purchase, there are some other similar snack tray options including this beautiful thankful tray and this blessed beyond-measure tray that would work perfectly for creating your very own portable snack station!
Unique Storage Jars
While picking out a shiny new bread tray was fun, it simply wasn’t functional on its own.
In order to turn it into something practical, I needed simple snack storage containers.
Enter Mason jars.
Not going to lie, I love these babies and use them for practically everything in our home.
So, it was kind of a no-brainer that I would use them for our snack tray as well.
Now for this particular project, I opted for a fancier look and I am so pleased with how it turned out!
While regular mason jars will do, unique versions that serve a specific purpose are always a fun option.
With that said, the unique-looking mason jars I chose for our snack tray aren’t something you can currently get your hands on, these fun bee-themed mason jars however, could be a fun option for your farmhouse kitchen!
*NOTE: I applied sticky back felt to our Mason jars. Not only did this protect the inside of our bread tray from getting scratched up, but it created a softer landing in general — making it less likely for one of my kiddos to chip or crack the bottom of a jar while utilizing our snack station.
The only downside is washing. I handwash most of our dishes anyway, so that wasn’t an issue. However, the felt can’t be soaked so there is an extra level of carefulness associated with washing jars that have felt applied to the bottoms.
Portion Sized Snack Bowls
When I was creating this snack station for my own kiddos, I knew I wanted to encourage portion-controlled snack breaks.
That’s why leaning on small snack-sized bowls was ideal.
Since I’ve been trying to eliminate the use of plastic in our kitchen, I decided to pick up these adorable wooden snack bowls for our snack station.
They are so stinkin’ cute and go with my farmhouse theme perfectly!
With that said, if eliminating plastic isn’t a huge concern for your home, these mini bowls make the perfect budget-friendly option!
However, if leaning more toward wood or ceramic are your go-to, these simple stoneware bowls are a great replacement for the wooden bowls we use (that are unfortunately no longer sold in stores).
Snack Station Snacks
While we do keep a large amount of fresh fruit and veggies in the house, having a small portion of dry pantry goods hanging out on the counter is what our snack station is for!
With that said, it isn’t our main form of nutrition and I definitely don’t suggest only leaning on prepackaged or processed foods for your kids’ snacking needs.
Giving kids a well-rounded snack system filled with on-the-go snacks, fresh produce, and healthy homemade snack options is key!
Some of our favorite snack station options include simple salty snacks like pretzels & chickpea snacks, with the occasional sweet treat like graham crackers.
While our family isn’t perfect or 100% organic, we do try to lean on simple, low-sugar, satisfying snacks.
We absolutely cut out all food dyes from our snacking and go after healthier versions of popular snacks when possible.
With that said, you are your child’s biggest advocate and the snacks you choose are totally up to you!
Using Your Snack Station
While I love the fact that I can take our tray of snacks from room to room and it looks beautiful on my kitchen table, the key to making this snack station work was including my kiddos in the entire process.
From making out the grocery list to filling the jars.
Encourage your kiddos to help pick the snacks for the week and fill up the jars on a daily basis!
Remind them that once the jars are empty, dry snacking is done for the day and they can lean on fresh snacks from the fridge instead.
Not only does this encourage less salty snacking, but it serves as a simple reminder to portion out their food throughout the day instead of gorging and offers them a wider variety of options by leaning on fresh items as well as dry goods.
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