Over the years I’ve developed a system of managing toddler snacks at home that’s worked really well for us. Not only does it encourage healthy eating habits, but it also helps toddlers begin to learn independence skills. For this week’s life skills themed Discover & Explore linky, I’m excited to share how we manage snacks for kids at home. (Be sure to link up your life skills themed posts at the end of this post!)
Theo’s favorite phrase right now is “I do it!” He’s right at the age where he wants to try everything on his own. Although I sometimes feel a teeny bit of sadness that he is not my little baby anymore, I’m just so proud of how much he’s growing and am amazed at all the confidence he’s gaining as he tries new things.
As Theo shows an interest in something, it’s important to me that I help provide ways to help him gain practice in it. So I knew it was the perfect time to provide him with an easy way to be involved in getting his morning and afternoon snacks just as I had done with Lucy.
How I Set Up Our Snack System
This method for toddler snacks is really so easy to set up and actually saves me time during my day. As I’m packing Lucy’s school lunch in the morning, I also take out Theo’s snack tray. I put about 4-5 healthy snack choices on it.
I then place it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator where Theo can access it easily on his own.
When it’s time for his morning snack, Theo gets one of his plates or bowls (from a low drawer where we keep them) and goes to the refrigerator. He’s allowed to choose two of any of the snack choices he wants from his snack tray. He takes them to the table and eats. He does the same thing for his afternoon snack, choosing two snacks from the remaining choices on the tray.
I love how selecting and getting his own snack is allowing him to have some choice in his eating habits and helping him practice important early life skills. And it also saves me time~ since I’ve prepared all his snacks first thing in the morning, I don’t need to do it during the day.
Getting a Drink
I’ve also placed a little water pitcher on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for him to use to get water when he’s thirsty. He gets a cup (from the same drawer as his bowls and plates) and pours his own cup of water from the pitcher. Using the water pitcher takes quite a bit of practice, and you have to be okay with water spills. Theo’s learned to get a paper towel or dishcloth when he spills and wipe it up on his own. And it helps to not fill the pitcher all the way up with water, that way spills won’t be huge.
He feels so proud when he gets his own snack, and I love that it gives him that extra practice in independence that he’s so interested in developing. As he gets older, I’ll involve him more in choosing his own snacks for the tray.
Do you have any tips for managing snack time for toddlers or young children?
Now it’s your turn! We’d love for you to share how you
Discover and Explore: Life Skills!
Currently Open– Life Skills
November 27th– Gifts
December 4th– December Holidays
December 11th– Indoor Games & Play
December 18th– Winter
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