The Simple Fridge Organization Tip That Every Busy Mom Should Know

updated Oct 3, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Every day kids around the country hang around their fridge — after school, all day on weekends, and basically any time they’re not otherwise being fed. As the New York Times covered recently, there’s no shame in kids snacking. But that doesn’t make the constant requests any less taxing, especially if you’re hoping to find something with more nutritional value than a Twinkie to feed them. Which is why, as Today reports, when one mom posted her solution on Facebook last week, it took the internet by storm, with 32,000 comments and 115,000 shares. 

The photo of a fridge door devoid of the usual maze of condiments and long-forgotten jars of pickles, shows neat plastic containers of colorful, appealing, easy-to-grab fruits, vegetables, cheese sticks, and yogurts. Nothing was complicated, but the vegetables were out of their packages, everything was reachable by a kid, and the bright array was appealing. (She does add at the bottom that the containers normally have lids on them, but she took them off for the photo.)

Calling it “Sunday self-serve,” she explained that after she does all her grocery shopping for the week, she washes and preps anything they consider “self-serve.” That includes anything the kids are allowed to grab for themselves whenever they want. She also points out that it makes lunch packing or quick sides for meals she isn’t sure her kids will eat super easy. “There’s something about having things truly ready to grab that makes kids eat it,” she explains. “I could leave the baby carrots in a bag or leave the grapes on the stems but they wouldn’t eat it.”

Today interviewed the woman, Sarah Hornung, about the method, which she says evolved from having to be very careful with packing because of food allergies that one of her kids has. But even she was surprised at the incredible reaction at first. Then she realized, ““Everyone can relate to throwing out untouched produce at the end of the week and most parents find themselves in some kind of negotiation with kids over food on the regular.”