pantry essentials
Kids, Nutrition, Tips / How-Tos

Kitchen Organization Ideas: Making It Kid-Friendly

When you’ve got active children, snack time is serious business. More than just a means of quieting rumbly tummies, though, your little ones’ daily snack routine is also the perfect opportunity to build up independent eating habits and encourage a positive relationship with food. It all starts with these three easy kitchen organization ideas for your pantry, fridge and freezer!

Tip #1: Pre-Portion and Label Snacks

In a world where portions grow more jumbo-sized by the day, one of the most valuable lessons you can teach your children is portion control—and the earlier, the better!

Rather than leave snack time open-ended with family-sized bins of pretzels or entire bags of microwave popcorn, keep portions mindful and age-appropriate by repackaging your kids’ favorite snacks into labeled zip-top bags or reusable containers. This strategy is a natural and pressure-free way to limit portion sizes, be a little more eco-friendly and maybe save some money!

pantry staples

Here are a few perfectly portionable snack ideas to satisfy those mid-morning or mid-afternoon munchies:

  • In the pantry: Stock your shelves with yummy junk food alternatives like whole grain granola bars, freeze-dried fruit and homemade trail mix.
  • In the fridge: Keep a store of string cheese, freshly cut veggie sticks and other kid-friendly healthy snacks.
  • In the freezer: Freeze individual baggies of cut fruit, frozen Greek yogurt bites or wholesome homemade popsicles for a scrumptious treat without the added sugar.

To get your kids even more involved, invite them to join you in portioning and labeling their snacks for the upcoming week or month! You can use this opportunity to talk about balanced nutrition and make your children feel included in the choosing and preparing of their own snacks.

Tip #2: Dedicate Shelf Space

Snacking is certainly part of many childhood routines, but we never want snacks to become so outsized that they overshadow meals. To make nutritious snacks the easy, go-to choice for your little ones, why not give them their own shelves in the pantry, fridge and freezer?

ready-to-eat meals

A dedicated shelf for each child will allow you to set all those carefully portioned snacks within easy reach and at eye level—preventing confusion, distraction and mindless munching. Equally important, you’ll be signaling to your children that the kitchen is their space, too.

Nurture Life Hack: Our ready-to-eat kid meals are perfect for the kid’s fridge shelf! When mealtime comes around, your child will know exactly where to look for their food—and they’ll get to play an active role in deciding what’s for lunch or dinner!

Tip #3: Keep Kid-Friendly Tools Within Reach

In addition to pre-portioned snacks and dedicated snack shelves, your kids need one more thing for an independent snack routine: easy access to their favorite eating tools. Whether in a floor cabinet or low pantry shelf, set aside an official area for kid-friendly bowls, plates, utensils and cups. If you’ve got children who just can’t imagine eating without their favorite food picks or silly plate, be sure to store those picky eater tools in there as well.

Nutrition shouldn't take a night off. You should.

Through this fully stocked snack station, you’ll encourage inquisitive minds to become more curious about their eating habits and teach your children essential life skills like preparing food, self-feeding and cleaning up. It’ll also help keep your kitchen organized and save your own energy at snack time—a daily kitchen win for every member of the family.

With these simple kitchen organization ideas, you’ll be well on your way to a family-friendly kitchen in which your children feel included, at home and empowered to take an active role in nutrition from an early age. So set aside an hour or two this weekend, round up your little ones and transform your kitchen into a kid-centric zone for snacking, learning and growing together!

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RJ Bio

Rachael Janas

Rachael joined the Nurture Life team as the Marketing Production & QA Manager. From menu design to nutrient analysis, she covers all things food. Rachael is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a strong foundation in clinical nutrition and a keen interest in nutritious food with phenomenal flavor. Her passion for incorporating whole foods and creative cuisine while focusing on age-specific nutrient needs of children is essential to Nurture Life’s menu design. Rachael has been practicing dietetics since 2011, with the bulk of her experience in clinical nutrition at Loyola Medical Center, specializing in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as critical care nutrition related to lung disease and lung transplant. She also has experience in cardiac health and nutrition during pregnancy. Rachael received her B.S. from Saint Louis University in Missouri and completed a dietetic internship with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Rachael’s interests include creative cooking at home, using a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs for a unique meal each night. She truly believes nutrition and food should be enjoyable and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.