For the last few months, I’ve been serving our afternoon snacks in a muffin tin. This is how it works, why we love it, why you should do it, and a bunch of snacks for kids ideas to put in your muffin tin.
This snack hack will transform your afternoon snack time.
A few months ago I saw a friend on Instagram share her kids’ afternoon snack. It was just your basic variety of snacks, but she was serving it in a muffin tin. GENIUS.
Everybody has a muffin pan in their house, so this is an easy idea you can all use right away.
We’ve been doing these muffin tin snack trays for many weeks, and my kids still get excited about them every single day.
Here’s why I love serving snacks in a muffin tin:
- The portions are all the perfect size
- You can serve a variety of options
- Kids love to help fill each container
- It’s an easy cleanup
- It helps me be more creative with our every day snacks
- My kids are more adventurous in what they’ll eat when it’s served this way
I’ve been sharing our daily snack trays on my Instagram stories, and I wanted to share a bunch of ideas all in one place so it’s easy to find.
Here are a few tips for filling your muffin tin snack trays.
Tip 1. Serve a variety of choices. Try fruits and veggies, crackers or mini muffins, dips or yogurts, but also toss in some marshmallows, mini cookies, or candies. The variety helps the kids eat the healthy stuff!
Tip 2. Don’t forget you can fill several of the tins with the same items. Whenever I serve apples, I’ll cut up half an apple and fill two spots with them. Same for popcorn, since the containers don’t hold all that much. Don’t feel like all 12 spaces have to be filled with different items!
Tip 3. Add a variety of colors and textures. This is like a mini creative project for me everyday, arranging the muffin tin so similar colors of food are spaced nicely apart on the tray. It’s a tiny thing, but it makes me happy to see a pretty tray.
Tip 4. Don’t refill any items until everything is gone. My 3 year old always goes for the marshmallows or fruit snacks first, of course. My older boys complain that they hardly got any, and I tell them I’ll refill that section after everything else is gone. Often, they eat everything else and they’re too full for any marshmallow refills after all.
Our after school routine, and where snack time fits in.
We always do this snack tray right after the boys get home from school. I put together the tray while they put away their shoes, backpacks, and lunchboxes. If I’m still not done, they’ll help me finish the tray. Then we gather at the table altogether and eat while we play a game. (These are some of our favorite family games!)
After snack time is over, we go straight into homework. But this little snack and game break helps them feel rejuvenated and connected with me after a long day at school and makes them more willing to step into homework.
This testimonial from a Muffin Tin Snack Tray mom will convince you to try it!
I also wanted to share this little testimonial from a reader on Instagram. She was trying to get her kids out of the chicken nugget/macaroni and cheese rut that we have all found ourselves in with our kids at some point.
I told her to try this snack tray! As parents, we’re often the reason that our kids get in the chicken nuggets rut. It’s easy, we know they’ll eat it, and we don’t even bother to give them the opportunity to eat other stuff. I told her to give them the benefit of the doubt and I bet they would surprise her. Mix in fun stuff with the healthy stuff on the tray, and make them try at least one of everything. And do not refill it unless everything is gone.
And a few days later she wrote back, “IT’S A MOTHERHOOD MIRACLE!!” She said her kids of course ate all the fun stuff, but then tried the other things and her youngest had found a new favorite favorite food: cucumbers.
Trust me, guys. If you’re not doing this snack tray, start today. I promise it makes your life so much easier when your kids walk in the door after school, and your kids will love it!