This mom found a way to stop her kids from constantly asking for snacks

This clever trick saved a very savvy mom from the barrage of snack requests parents get all day, every day. Try it and save yourself, too!

Once most toddlers learn to talk, there’s one thing they usually won’t shut up about: snacks.

Yup, if you have a little one in the house (or little ones, depending on how many kids you have), you’ve likely spent a lot of your time at home prepping snacks: morning snack, afternoon snack, stroller snack, second stroller snack, pre-dinner snack, sitting-on-the-toilet snack, just-brushed-my-teeth-and-I-want-one-before-bedtime snack. By the time you’re done cleaning up the dishes from one meal, it’s already time for another snack. It’s hard enough to just keep up, but to make them all healthy snacks too? Good luck!

Well, this clever mom has finally cracked the code with her genius snack hack. Why didn’t we think of this before? Instead of feeling like a personal vending machine for your ravenous offspring, you can just follow Sarah Hornung’s lead and give that job to your fridge door by setting up a self-serve healthy snack shelf right at kid-height. Check it out:

View this post on Instagram

Sunday self-serve is ready for the week. 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 After grocery shopping I always wash and prep all of the food that is considered self-serve in our house. Self-serve for my kiddos means help yourself without asking and it’s always an okay snack (any time of day, bedtime snacks, etc.) It also helps me when I’m packing lunches and snacks, or as a side dish when dinner doesn’t include something they will definitely eat or if we have a busy/late night. There’s something about having things truly ready to grab that makes kids eat it. I could leave the baby carrots in a bag or leave the grapes on the stems but they wouldn’t eat it. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️You can see more of my Sunday meal prep routines in my highlights under Meal Prep 🍎🥒 <PS- For the fruits and veggies I do put covers on the containers so they don’t get gross. #healthykidsfood #healthyfood #healthykids #bentobox #mealprepsunday #mealprep #aldifinds #teachermom #lunchbox #lunchboxideas #sarahhornung

A post shared by Sarah | The Eager Teacher (@theeagerteacher) on

Genius, right? Gone are the days of kids asking whichever parent is closest to whip up a bite for them. By letting her children serve themselves whenever they want, she’s teaching them how to be more independent and more aware of their snacking habits. Plus, kids get the illusion of choice since they get to choose what they want to snack on (plus, you get to choose which healthy options to give them).

Now you might say that prepping this shelf is overly ambitious—what if it runs out before the week is through? At that point, you can teach kids portion control (or at least try to teach them, if they’re old enough to understand). This way, they’ll learn how to space out snacks throughout the week so that the food on the shelf lasts. Hot tip: this lesson will also prevent them from constantly grazing on snacks throughout the day since that will diminish the supply fairly quickly.

Another added bonus, which Sarah mentions in her post, is how much her snack shelf helps with lunch and dinner prep. With a shelf full of approved sides, it’s never been easier to pop some veggies into a bento box, get your kid to help pack their own lunches, or even use as a side for your kids’ dinners. Who said meal prep needs to be hard?

So bravo, Sarah. This hack is sure to help many a parent who is drowning in the ire of constant snack prep. Maybe now we’ll have time to actually tackle all the other things on our endless to-do list.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.