How To Make a DIY Snack Station

Basket full of snacks like applesauce, juice boxes, fruit cups and crackers

Created by: Laura Franklin, Food Fun Family

Pre-packaged snacks are easy, but not always the healthiest or most cost-effective solution. Check out how you can make snack stations with mom-approved portioned snacks and lunch box items.

As the kids get ready to head back to school, it’s time to start thinking about packing school lunches. With several school-aged kids at home, school lunch preparation can be a very time-consuming part of the morning. As the kids have gotten older, I’ve tried to get them more involved in packing their own lunches. However, when I let the kids take over I worry that they might not pack the most nutritious lunches (I’m sure there are kids other than just my own who have tried to escape to school with a lunch box filled with cookies and three different types of crackers).

This year, we implemented snack stations – one in the refrigerator and one in the pantry – and lunchtime prep has never been easier. Instead of buying all pre-packaged treats, I buy boxes in bulk and separate snacks into zip-top snack bags. I keep all of the snacks together in one spot so the kids can easily grab a few snacks as they pack their lunches.

I encourage the kids to choose a variety of items (ie, a fruit, a dairy item, a cracker and a sweet treat, if desired). Not only is the morning routine moving along more smoothly, but the kids are eating a better lunch. It’s a win-win situation for the whole family!

Pantry Snack Station Ideas:

  • Crackers or chips
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Homemade granola
  • Fruit cups
  • Fruit snacks
  • Pudding
  • Applesauce

Refrigerator Snack Station Ideas:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Yogurt cups
  • Fresh fruit, whole
  • Cut or sliced fruit
  • Cucumbers
  • Hummus
  • Olives