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How I Prep 2 Weeks of Freezer Snacks for My Whole Family in Just 2 Hours

updated Mar 22, 2022
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Power hour freezer snacks laid on countertop. Top left to right: morning glory muffins, 2 bags of Piña Colada Smoothie Packs. Bottom left: chocolate chip cookie dough, pan of 3-Cheese Frittata Cups.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
Credit: The Kitchn

More often than not, our Power Hour meal prep plans focus on full meals, but don’t include a lot of snacks. But as a busy working parent, I have to say that snacks can be a big time-suck! Even a basic plate of cheese and crackers takes 10 minutes to assemble and dirties the kitchen a bit. With so many of us juggling work, school, and activity schedules, having snacks ready keeps everyone from getting hungry while we get everything done. Plus, you can save a ton of money making snacks instead of buying them.

This plan will stock your freezer with snacks that can be thawed easily or require just a whirl in the blender and are both filling and somewhat nutritious. It also includes a batch of cookie dough, because some days require warm cookies during this hectic time. Here’s how to prep a bunch of snacks for the whole family to enjoy at home for almost two whole weeks.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Meal Prep Goals

  • Elevenses: I’m pretty guilty of drinking coffee from wake up until about 10:30 a.m., and then feeling cranky. This plan includes some prep that works as a second breakfast as well as a snack for kids and adults alike.
  • Afternoon: We all seem to need a snack at about 3:30 p.m., and depending on the day this needs to be a quick hit of sugar to finish the work day (raises hand) or something filling enough to keep the kids full until dinner around 6:30p.m.
  • Late Night: We’re not a dessert-after-dinner family, but occasionally like to cuddle up, watch a movie together, and have a small treat. Or the kids need something to fill them up just before bedtime.
  • Nutritional Goals: My family doesn’t have any dietary restrictions and we generally meet our nutritional goals at regular meals, so snacks can be a nice place to just enjoy flavorful and filling food. With the exception of cookies, most of these snacks were chosen for being wholly satisfying!
Credit: The Kitchn

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: 4 people, 2 to 3 snacks per day
  • Prep Time: About 2 hours
  • Snacks Covered: Morning, afternoon, and late-night snacks for 2 weeks.
  • Weekday Cooking Required? Some — it includes smoothies that will need to be blended and cookies to bake off fresh as desired.

Snack Plan

Morning Snacks

Afternoon Snacks

Late-Night Snacks

Credit: NA

Shopping List

This snack plan relies heavily on your pantry staples, so check your supply of baking ingredients well before hitting the grocery store.

  • Produce: 1 medium sweet potato, 1 medium tart apple, 4 medium bananas, 8 cups fresh or frozen pineapple chunks, 3/4 cup quartered seedless grapes, 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • Meat: 24 thin slices pepperoni
  • Refrigerated: 1 pound pizza dough, 1/3 cup apple cider or apple juice, 18 large eggs,
    3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup whole milk, 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina cheese, 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (preferably whole-milk)
  • Pantry: 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups whole-wheat flour, 2 cups packed brown sugar, 3 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2 3/4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, 2 cups canned coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates (12 to 14), 1/3 cup raw cashews, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, 3 tablespoons tahini, 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 6 teaspoons marinara sauce, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/4 cup sweetener, such as brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, 3/4 cup granola, 1 1/3 cups natural creamy peanut butter (no sugar added), 1 1/2 cups Concord grape jelly, 2/3 cup coarsely chopped salted, roasted peanuts (optional)
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done

  1. Bake the Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins. Bake the muffins according to the recipe instructions. Give these muffins plenty of time to cool before wrapping individually and freezing.
  2. Make the Frozen Grape & Granola Yogurt BarkMy kids helped with this recipe! Once frozen (towards the end of meal prep) you can break it into pieces and move them to a zip-top freezer bag for longer-term storage.
  3. Bake the 3-Cheese Frittata CupsMake the frittata cups according to the recipe instructions. Cool these well before stacking in an airtight container for the freezer. Parchment paper between the layers is super helpful too — take my word for it, you don’t want these sticking together.
  4. Mix up the No-Bake Tahini-Date Energy BallsPrepare the energy balls according to the recipe instructions. We make these often and I like to split the batch — freezing half for a future week and sticking the rest in the fridge to eat now.
  5. Pack up and freeze Piña Colada Smoothie Packs. Assemble the smoothie kits, and scale up to make four servings, each stored in separate zip-top bags or airtight freezer containers.
  6. Bake the Muffin Tin Pizza BombsPrepare the pizza bombs according to the recipe instructions. This is another recipe that is good to freeze in small batches. I find about 8 per a quart-sized bag works well for freezing and reheating for my family.
  7. Bake PB&J Crumble Bar CookiesBake the bar cookies according to the recipe instructions. Once completely cooled, cut the cookie. Individually wrapping these means these can also be grab-and-go snacks for the days we walk to the park in the afternoon.
  8. Mix, portion, and freeze a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie dough. Prepare the cookie dough according to the recipe instructions. Roll the dough into balls and freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then move them to a zip-top bag for longer-term storage.
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Two Weeks of Freezer Snacks for the Whole Family

Morning snack: I was surprised by just how much faster a smoothie could be made by having smoothie packs on hand, and the piña colada flavor felt like such a treat in the middle of a week. My kids flew through the frittata egg bites (supplemented with grapes and apple slices on occasion). Morning glory muffins were best when I remembered to pull a few from the freezer first thing in the morning to thaw and then were toasted in the oven for a few minutes. Generous swaths of salted butter for serving didn’t hurt either.

Afternoon snacks: Remember how awesome it was to have microwave pizza pockets after school as a a kid? Yes, pizza bombs are just as good — possibly even better. We ended up eating fresh chocolate chip cookies on a few particularly hard days too.

Late-night snacks: Freezer yogurt bark is the bedtime gift I didn’t know I needed — specifically it felt really nice to have a quick snack to throw at kids fighting bedtime by claiming they were hungry. We didn’t end up having cookies, bars, or bark every night, so these lasted longer than our two-week plan!

It is hard to understate how helpful it was to have easy, filling snacks on hand for my family. Yes, we supplemented some of these snacks with fresh fruit and vegetables over the two-week period we enjoyed this freezer stash. I also noticed that we saved about $25 a week by not buying all the pre-wrapped snacks we typically do over the two weeks we ate this freezer prep.

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Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.