How to Create an After School Snack Cart

Do you ever find yourself struggling to navigate the snack selection in your pantry? Do your kids constantly ask for snacks? Same, friend, same. This is why I decided to create an after-school snack cart for my two toddler girls! I scooped up a cart, some bins, and let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer for our family.

cart filled with snacks

Why a Snack Cart?

The idea for the snack cart came from wanting to give my girls a sense of independence when it comes to choosing their snacks. I wanted them to have easy access to a variety of options while also freeing up cabinet space in our kitchen. With the snack cart, everything is neatly organized and visible, making it easier for the girls to make their selections without any of us having to dig through cabinets.

close up of snack cart filled with snacks
snack cart stocked with snacks

Choosing the Snacks

When selecting snacks for the cart, I focused on items with lower sugar content, aiming for 6 grams or less per serving. This meant prioritizing fruit, such as apple sauce pouches, clementines, and peach fruit cups, as well as healthier alternatives like Teddy Grahams, snack bags of peanut butter-filled pretzels, and Annie’s Homegrown chewy granola bars. I also keep additional fruit, low-fat string cheese, and yogurts in the fridge for added variety.

This week, we stocked up with apple sauce pouches, strawberry apple sauce pouches, clementines, Sun-Maid yogurt covered raisins, mini yogurt raisins (we love them for church and the car) peach cups, Heavenly Hunks, peanut butter filled pretzels, granola bites, Teddy Grahams and Annie’s Homegrown chewy granola bars.

This will last us 2-3 weeks!

hand reaching for clementines

Establishing Rules

To encourage healthy choices, we established some guidelines for the snack cart. Fruit is mostly unlimited, while the other snacks are more controlled, with the girls allowed to choose one per day. This helps them learn about moderation while still enjoying a variety of treats.

hand reaching for snack

Involving the Kids

One of the best parts of the snack cart is involving the girls in the selection process. We go shopping together, and I allow them to pick from a selection of pre-approved options. They love trying new things and are always excited to see what’s in the cart each week. It’s also a great opportunity for them to practice decision-making and explore different flavors and textures.

clementines and apple sauce in snack cart

Benefits for the Family

The snack cart has had numerous benefits for our family. Not only does it give the girls a sense of independence and responsibility, but it also helps my husband and me focus on other tasks, knowing that the girls can easily grab a snack when they’re hungry. It’s especially helpful for us as we work from home, allowing us to stay productive without constant interruptions.

Overall, creating an after-school snack cart has been a game-changer for our family. Not only does it promote independence and healthy choices, but it also streamlines our snack routine and reduces stress for everyone involved. If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to improve your snack game, I highly recommend giving it a try!

snack cart fully stocked

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