This post is sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AHugeSale #CollectiveBias #Vons

back to school lunches and a snack station for toddlers

I’m a first-timer here, and I’m sure this will not be the last time I talk about packing school lunch or snacks for my kid. He is going to officially be in preschool in a few weeks and we just went to see the place this week. One of the teachers told me they feed them two snacks, but we are supposed to send them with lunch or a snack to eat about noon to tide them over before they leave at 12:30. Noted.

See, my kid has a pattern: He rummages for himself most days and eats the same few things all day unless I am prepared and give him options. I know that sounds like I ignore him and let him eat anything, but I try to have some great options around. When given the option, he’ll often choose healthier, but I do need to have it ready and available or he will pull out the step ladder and climb up to a secret candy stash that I am still unsure why I have at all…

So I had this idea, that I genuinely thought was new-ish (for me) and after perusing on Pinterest, almost laughed out loud at my naivety.

You mean to tell me that all along, all of you moms have had a snack station??

A place where you have organized snacks and guidelines so the kids get balanced snacks and lunches??

I feel like this could have been communicated slightly sooner in our friendship, but I won’t hunt you down just yet…

I have more to get, but basically I plan to have two bins- one for the fridge and one for the pantry that he can choose from. At least this way I can be sure he is also getting some fruit and protein along with the carbs. He often asks for fruit, so if I have both and he eats both, I’m happy.

I also nabbed Gatorade because he’s a huge drinker when we come home from anywhere and if he’s going to have something other than water, it might as well have some electrolytes and good stuff in there.

back to school snack station for easy lunches

And just as a side note here: This is why I’ve always been such a fan of Safeway {and in my case now that I’m in SoCal, Vons}:

I went looking for snacks for back to school and lunches…etc. And of course what we wanted was cleverly out for us in the isles, making my life oh so easy, especially as I had the 4 year old with me to help pick his faves. “Mom! This is my favorite drink ever!” and “Mom, THESE are the chips I want in my lunch!” {It may or may not be because of the huge anniversary sale happening right now!

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 3.21.25 PMvons gatoradeFullSizeRender 14

I buy both the large bags and the small packaged of the carby snacks so I can bag em up in small portions. I get what’s on sale, and this time they both were! Go stock up!

It saves me for snacks too so I don’t sit down with the entire bag of Sun Chips. [What? I’ve never done that…]

vons doritos

FullSizeRender 20

rold gold pretzels anniversary sale


So I organized my bins and then told the pre-schooler how we plan to pack a “lunch” {which is really a glorified snack}:

1 item in a bag, {chips, pretzels, protein bar}

1 item from a white bin {cheese or peanut butter}

1 piece of fruit

1 drink

kids snack station back to school snack station for easy lunches

He isn’t a huge meal-eater, so I think this will be perfect for him. When we go to kindergarten I will add sandwiches and a few more substantial items, but for now, I am loving how easy it is for him to get his own snack. Because he knows he needs something from everything, I can easily say, “you’ve already had chips, how about some cheese” and he’s been very quick to say, “yes mom! I’ll get it myself!” I am sure that will wear off and will soon be a battle, as all things are, but I think having the power to choose is helping him a lot!

back to school snack station for easy lunches back to school snack station for easy lunches

Shop the HUGE Anniversary sale at Vons and stock up on your favorite Pepsi and PepsiCo brands 7/29-8/11!

What are your go-to toddler lunches? Or what do you stock-up on for snacks??