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March 06, 2018

A Children's Fridge + a Few Snack Ideas

A few months ago we did a big kitchen remodel and renovation where we changed pretty much everything in our existing kitchen. One of the biggest changes we made was adding a new refrigerator for our family. The old one was too small for our needs as a family of five. 

Using a children's fridge in a Montessori home, plus healthy snack ideas for young kids

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When we were purchasing a fridge we specifically wanted one that was Montessori friendly. Basically we were looking for something that our children could 1. open on their own 2. access at least one shelf without the use of a stool. We finally settled on a Samsung 4-Door Flex fridge. On this model one of the bottom areas can be used as a fridge or a freezer. So, it essentially becomes a children sized refrigerator. 

After having this for a few months, I can say I really love it! It's so nice to let the kids have some place where they can just independently gather snacks or ingredients for meals has been really wonderful. 

Using a children's fridge in a Montessori home, plus healthy snack ideas for young kids

Now, I don’t mean to tell anyone that they need to go buy a new refrigerator for their children to use. But, providing some access will open up a world of opportunities. This access could be adding a mini-fridge to your kitchen for your children to use. Or, it could be figuring out a place for your children in your existing refrigerator. The exact fridge used is less important than opening up those opportunities in the first place.

We try to keep a variety of healthy snacks in the fridge for the kids. We don’t ration them them but only buy a certain amount for the entire week and let the kids self-regulate as much as possible. We do put limits on some things, and have been known to keep a small scoop in the fridge next to an item where you may need to limit serving size.

Some of the snacks we keep in our children’s fridge include:
  • Guacamole
  • Hard boiled eggs (sometimes we also keep uncooked eggs but never the two together) 
  • Applesauce
  • Fresh fruit that needs to be refrigerated (grapes this week)
  • Fresh vegetables that are refrigerated (carrots this week, often cucumbers or snap peas)
  • Hummus
  • Fruit cups
  • Dried fruit and nut mixes (this week it’s apricots, cranberries, and sunflower seeds)
  • Mixed nuts and trail mix (this week it’s cashews, and walnuts)
  • Individual almond/peanut butter snack packs (these are usually for on-the-go snacking, they also have access to our regular jar)
  • Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spreads 
  • Freeze-dried crunchy veggie snacks (edamame and peas this week)
  • Coconut/Almond milk yogurt (we’re dairy free)
  • Dairy free cheese
  • Pitcher of cashew milk
  • Herbal tea
  • Slices of turkey sausage (or sometime salami or other similar meat)
  • Lunch meat
  • Filtered water from a container - this is mainly for Nora/Gus who cannot reach the water spout on the fridge
  • Water filled teethers {similar} for Gus (not to eat but for cold chewing)

Don’t read this list and think my kids don’t eat cookies, baked goods or other sweets! They totally do. But, they aren’t at the point of being able to regulate those on their own yet, so they are kept higher in our pantry with other dry goods.

Using a children's fridge in a Montessori home, plus healthy snack ideas for young kids

What types of snacks do your children enjoy? Do your children have access a refrigerator?

Thinking about how to get your children to enjoy healthy food? To cook? Or bake? Don’t miss my newest course Confidence in the Kitchen, the first session starts next week!

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Unknown said…
Very interesting, thanks for sharing! How do you balance their ability to snack when they want, with having snack time together (if that's what you do), and also with them not having a snack too close to lunch or dinner?