back to school

5 Smart Fridge Organizing Tricks Every Parent Needs to Know

published Sep 13, 2021
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Messy fridge before
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Back-to-school time is the perfect time for new processes — even in the kitchen. After a fun, restorative summer, kids are going back to school and starting sports and activities. We’re all learning new routines and getting back in the swing of things. One new process that will help both kids and parents? Setting up a kid-friendly, self-serve snack station in your fridge.

A self-serve snack fridge encourages independence and responsibility and makes it so much easier for your kids to grab good-for-them foods — without interrupting your Zoom calls!

Any section of your fridge can work, with a little bit of organization, but the door is prime real estate for grab-and-go snacks (think: applesauce, string cheese, or fresh fruit). After all, your child will only eat what’s visible, and these sorts of small things tend to get buried in drawers and pushed too far back on bigger shelves.

Credit: Sarah Crowley
Kid-friendly after-school snacks within easy reach! String cheese, anyone?

Ready to transform your fridge into a functional, kid-friendly space? Here are five tips to get you started. 

1. Have fresh produce prepped and ready to go.

Put fruits and veggies front and center (again, kids are more likely to take what they see). If there’s something that might need some prep work, do it in advance. Just as this TikTok post shows, you can easily store berries and carrot sticks in a little bit of water to keep them fresh. Note: Cut-up produce doesn’t last as long as the whole pieces, but they’ll be on display and gobbled up quickly anyway!

2. Use Mason jars as organizers.

A standard-mouthed Mason jar makes for a great organizer on a fridge door. Use it to corral string cheeses and yogurt tubes.

3. Prep some snack baggies.

Those pre-portioned bags of nuts not only cost you more money, but they also add lots of unnecessary packing to landfills. Instead, prep some yourself! You can use reusable baggies like these or these and line them up on the door. And you can make little baggies of all sorts of snacks, too, not just nuts.

4. Don’t forget the drinks.

Your child may be able to pour their own drink, but juice boxes are a good mess-proof option when you’re not in the kitchen to supervise. Line them up on a shelf along with the snacks. Tip: If you have really little ones, take the plastic wrapper off a straw or two and put them in a juice box beforehand to prevent frustration (and unnecessary interruptions).

5. Move the condiments.

If you’re looking at these photos and wondering what happened to the condiments, we’ll tell you: They got moved to a shelf! More specifically, a shelf with a lazy Susan. It’s actually easier to see your condiments this way and helps to make sure your collection doesn’t get out of control. And, of course, it frees up that door space for the kid stuff, where they can grab what they need without knocking anything over.

Do you have an after-school self-serve snack section in your fridge? Tell us your tips in the comments below.