Setting up a kids’ snack fridge

Setting up a kids' snack fridge

We have one fairly standard sized fridge in our kitchen. As the kids started to eat more and more and we went to storing fruits like apples, stone fruits etc in the fridge, combined with me cooking extra at meals for left overs for my lunches we were very much struggling for space.

My nana’s health unfortunately deteriorated and she was moved to a higher level of care at her nursing home, but she very kindly gave us her bar fridge knowing we could make good use of it.

Limited for a place to store it, I opted for the laundry. It is close to the kitchen and has a tiled floor, meaning if the kids spilt things from the fridge it would be easier for them to clean it up.

The fridge was to be the kids’ snack fridge, which they could access for foods to put together morning and afternoon tea and on a as needs basis.

We set some ground rules for the fridge:

  • With the exception of the basic fruits (apples and other in season standards) the food was to be for a period of a week.
  • If for example, the yogurt was eaten on the first day, there would be no more yogurt until the next Saturday shop.
  • Everyone needed to remember to show consideration and restraint.
  • If food is spilt or a mess made, it needs to be cleaned up straight away.
  • Under no circumstances is the fridge door to be left open.
  • Children are to compost food, recycle empty containers and re-stock the fridge when the shopping is brought in on Saturday.

We have had this set up for over six months now and it works brilliantly for us. As was to be expected in the first few weeks, the fridge was pretty bare by the end of the week, but once the novelty wore off, the food now lasts the distance on majority of occasions.

Naturally on school holidays the fridge contains more food as the all the kids are home to get themselves morning and afternoon tea.

The kids really like having the fridge as it gives them greater independence over what and when they eat. I really like it as if they are hungry I can direct them to the fridge where there is plenty of good food for them to eat and it frees up considerable space in the main fridge.

What we stock in the kids’ snack fridge

The kids’ fridge is stocked on Saturdays after our main shop. The main part of the fridge will hold:

  • Apples – generally two varieties
  • Carrot and celery
  • In season fruit – currently nectarines, strawberries and blueberries
  • In season fruit – cut up capsicum and tomatoes
  • Greek yogurt – for dipping veggies sticks into
  • Vanilla yogurt

The freezer part of the fridge will hold:

  • 1 packet frozen peas
  • 1 packet frozen corn

For some reason my kids love eating frozen peas and corn. They do not however like the packS that have frozen peas, corn and carrots!

My daughter loves to come food shopping with me and she knows exactly what items to grab to restock their fridgecwhich is incredibly helpful.

Would love to hear what you do with your kids with fruit and veg snacks!

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Nic – I love the thought of this idea and really want to implement it with my kids, but do you think kids need to be of a certain age for this to work best??

  2. says

    What a great idea. Terrific in terms of encouraging the kids to eat healthy snacks, stopping them from pestering all day for something to eat and teaching them responsibility for preparing their own snacks and clean up. Thankfully my kids love to eat all those kinds of foods for snacks too (don’t know how they’d go with the frozen peas and corn though :-)). My kids love frozen things like frozen berries, sliced frozen banana and grapes. Sticks of carrot and celery and mushroom are always popular especially with a little pot of peanut butter or hommus for dipping.

  3. Mia says

    We don’t yet have the need (or space) for a dedicated snack fridge but a snack box might work well on the lower shelf of our fridge so my 3yo can reach it.

    At the moment I try to have set morning and afternoon tea to encourage her to sit down to eat to minimise constant snacking and the crumb trail around the house. However I’d like less pestering too and to foster her independence. Do you have rules/thoughts on this? Is 3 too young?

    BTW My daughter loves frozen peas too, to the extent that I serve them frozen with her dinner. Cooked ones go untouched!

  4. Suzi says

    We do something similar where I have a list of these exact foods on the fridge and my kids know what they can eat without asking first. They are of reading age of course but I think perhaps a four year old could memorise the list and make this work.

    I wish I had the space for a bar fridge – we have a bar fridge but nowhere in the house to put it so it sits unused in the garage (not plugged in of course).

  5. Janet says

    Brilliant idea!!! We have a bar fridge that we use for all our water bottles and fruit. I am going to implement this idea immediately. Think I will add some sort of cheese sticks and maybe some boiled eggs or chicken drumsticks to increase their protein. Thanks for this great idea!

  6. says

    We don’t have a second fridge (we have a second FREEZER!) but I do have some snack ‘trays’ in my fridge.

    Probably easier cause we don’t like our apples/stone fruit cold, and to be honest no matter how much I buy it is all gone in 24 hours anyway.

  7. says

    My son isn’t old enough yet to get his own snacks, but I’m already brainstorming creative ways to give him reasonable ownership when it comes to his food choices. This seems like a great way to set perimeters while still fostering independence. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ursula says

    A stroke of genius! I am going to try this as soon as I can get hold of a bar fridge. The only variation I’ll be making is separate containers within the fridge for each of the kids. One of them has absolutely NO self control and wouldn’t leave a bite to eat for her sisters. Thank you soooooo much.