This is one of those organizational things that seems so easy once you do it and you totally kick yourself in the ass for not doing it sooner.
The Good Daughter loves to snack. She usually has one right after we get home from daycare and then again before bed. It is easy to just give her a small bowl of cheese crackers and let her hang out in the living room while I cook dinner. But I have found that pouring out of the box into the bowl lets her know there are MORE CHEESE CRACKERS!!!!!! So she normally tries to get a second and third bowl out of me b/c she knows I would be a lying whore if I were to say, "all gone" when she totally saw the entire box sitting on the counter.
I have found that if I give her a small pre-filled container full of snacks, I get less complaining when they are all gone since she never saw the source and can't call my bluff. So I decided to use the dozen or so plastic, square baby food containers I had saved from when TGD started solids. I had kept them since I didn't know what to do with them, and then I realized they were a perfect size for snacks. Plus I didn't want to use my good rubbermaid containers (you know you have some too) for just snacks.
I built two separate snack stations, one for the pantry and one for the fridge.
The pantry snack station features cheddar bunnies, graham cracker bears, pretzels, dry cereal (in the red rubbermaid container), homemade trial mix (red container also), some pieces of candy that are really for Mamma and a backup juice box. I store them all in an old ziplock container I wasn't using any more.
The next snack station I keep in the fridge. This contains healthier snacks. In this snack station I have sliced cucumbers, dried cranberries, cheese sticks, baby carrots, sliced apples, juice boxes and peanut butter and celery sticks (red rubbermaid container). I put it on a shelf in the fridge where TGD can reach, so she can have her pick of snacks. This cuts down in tantrums since she gets to choose what she can eat and she feels some independence.
I can reuse the containers as opposed to buying single servings of her favorite snacks, so I cut down on waste. I am looking for some reusable cloth bags to replace the plastic baggies, but I haven't found any yet.
~To prevent sliced apples from browning, soak in ginger ale or lemon-lime soda for 10 minutes. This will keep apples fresh for up to two days.
~To make your own cheese sticks, I slice a block of organic cheese into 9 equal sticks and wrap it in plastic wrap.
~To store peanut butter and celery, I place one tablespoon of peanut butter in the bottom of the container and stick the celery ribs in the peanut butter vertically.