It’s hard to imagine that Back to School time is ever going to be here… but oh man, it’s coming faster than my September-denial would have me believe! (Especially since I’m writing this by the lake at the cottage!)
And while we typically focus on school-age kiddos, pre-schoolers are also adjusting to new routines come September. Emmett will be right back into his morning pre-school classes. And at our house that means 1) stricter bedtimes (for everyone’s sanity), and 2) the inevitable 11:30am pre-lunch snack attack.
Pre-lunch snack attack
Yup, no matter what he’s eaten that morning, when our kiddo gets home from school he’s DYING of hunger. (All caps for toddler-level dramatic effect). And if we don’t have something ready to chomp while he waits for lunch the meltdowns are epic.
I’m getting in front of things this year and sharing a few of the things we use to prep snacks in advance. Plus a few snack hacks that keep our household functioning!
So, what are we actually doing on the snack front?
We’re building a Snack Plan full of snack hacks
And it’s just like it sounds. Just like you build a meal plan for the week (ish), build yourself a snack plan. Have healthy snacks ready to go in the fridge for the second you walk in the door, and I promise you’ll nip about 80% of meltdowns right in the bud.
It also has the added benefit of limiting the demands for specific snacks. You have a few options ready to go, and the kiddos can choose from those while lunch is prepped. (Although I’m sure the same logic applies at dinnertime too!)
There are a few key things we use to get everything prepped on Sunday for the week, and no surprise here, they come from one of our favourite places, Kitchen Stuff Plus – because not only do they have everything we need, but the prices are seriously amazing.
- A nice big cutting board. We love this one by Epicurean – big enough to fit a bunch of veggies at once, and it has a channel to catch all the juice AND four rubber feet so it stays put while you’re cutting!
- This collapsible over-the-sink colander – it holds all the veggies at once, stretches to fit across your sink, and then collapses to tuck back in your cupboard. Because ain’t nobody got extra cupboard space kicking around.
- A bag sealer. I’m not kidding! This is the answer to every one of my ‘opened the bag wrong and now it won’t reseal’. Or ‘opened it for my toddler and he only ate three’ woes. I use this little guy to reseal bags of crackers, snacks. And even brown sugar to keep everything fresh and organized!
- Glass storage containers in a bunch of sizes. Once we prep and chop all of our snacks for the week, we load them into these bad boys so they stay fresh. I love glass containers because they don’t stain, and they transition easily to the microwave for heating if needed. Most often I use the large one for leftovers, the medium ones for chopped veggies, and the tiny ones for fruit, hummus, or even baby food purees!
And one final pre-schoolers snack hack for you:
If you know you’re going to have an extra busy week ahead, and are planning to cram a couple errands in after pick-up but before lunch time, grab one of those mini glass containers with fruit in it, throw it in your diaper bag, and serve it as a snack in the car seat/stroller on the way to run your errands.
I promise, you’ll get at least an extra 20 minutes of shopping done! And there’ll be a 60% lower chance that your toddler will end up in a crying puddle in the middle of the store. It’s science.