I need to give a HUGE shout out to Whole Foods and Annie’s for sponsoring this post. From July 26th – August 22nd you get $5 off when you spend $15 on Annie’s Homegrown products at Whole Foods! Woot woot! You can learn more about Annie’s products by checking out their website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Also, check out the Whole Foods website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for information and recipe ideas. This is a sponsored post with compensation received from Annie’s. As always, all opinions are my own.
Next to New Year’s Eve I think Back to School is a time of year where everyone kind of hits the reset button. We take time to clean out the old, organize the new, and get systems in place so we can start the school year off on the right foot. There’s no better feeling than waking up on the first day of school confident and prepared.
There are many things I do to get ready for the back to school season. I clean out closets and donate clothes that don’t fit anymore, purchase and organize school supplies, stock my freezer with meals, and I put together a make-ahead snack bin. Today let’s focus on the make-ahead snack bin.
Snack time is serious business in my home. My kids like snacks in their lunches and absolutely need snacks for after school. The moment my kids walk into the house they head straight for the pantry and refrigerator as if they’ve been starving for a week. It’s no joke.
A few years ago I started putting together a weekly snack bin. Basically all I do is fill a plastic bin with portion-controlled snacks my girls can grab for their lunches and after-school snacks. I found this to be the best way to help my kids find snacks and to keep them from eating an entire box of crackers within 5 minutes of getting home. You might be asking “what does she mean find snacks”? Let me explain. My children can open up a refrigerator or pantry, stare for a good 10 minutes at all kinds of food, and still say “we don’t have anything to eat”. Now they know to look directly in the snack bin to find something to eat.
Of course, anything can make up a snack bin. I’ve portioned out grapes, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, crackers, snack mixes, cookies, and other snack foods.
Of course, one of their snack requests are cookies, brownies, and other sweet treats. I don’t mind giving my kids sweets but instead of purchasing a box of cookies I’d much rather prepare treats ourself. This provides a little delayed gratification and also give my kids responsibility in making foods ahead of time for lunches and snacks during the week. Now that my kids are older, and like to prepare their own lunches, it’s good for them to have an active role in preparing food.
This past week we decided to put together a snack bin filled with Annie’s Homegrown cookies, brownies, and snack mixes. I also threw in some cheese sticks and put apples and strawberries right next to the bin in the refrigerator. My girls are planning on having a bunch of friends over this week so this snack bin will be perfect!
Even though I love to bake from scratch I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have baking mixes in my pantry at all times. My kids – especially my youngest – loves to bake. So when I want to keep things easy I just grab a cookie or brownie mix and we’re good to go. Annie’s baking mixes are great! These mixes include simple organic ingredients, easy to prepare, absolutely delicious and made with goodness. I’ve been purchasing Annie’s products for well over a decade, feel good about everything, and my kids love it all. It’s a win win for everyone. Kids are happy and mommy’s happy!
Don’t forget you can get $5 off when you purchase $15 of Annie’s products at Whole Foods. Offer valid 7/26/17 – 8/22/17 or while supplies last. $15 worth of participating Annie’s products must be purchased in a single transaction at Whole Foods in-store to receive $5 discount instantly at checkout. Discount may not be combined with other offers or discounts. Net purchase determined after all discounts, offers and coupons. No rain checks
My youngest daughter, Aubrey is without a doubt my lil foodie. She would bake cookies, cupcakes, and brownies every single day if I let her. She wanted to make the Annie’s Cookie Brownie Bars.
The instructions were so simple. Honestly, all I did was watch and take pictures. By the way, she wanted to let all you know that she’s an expert egg cracker. She never gets a shell in the dough.
The brownie part of the recipe came together fast.
Perfect rich silky brownie dough!
Then she made the cookie dough part. I love watching her get into baking. She’s a hands on girl and becomes this serious baker when she’s putting a recipe together. I thought it was adorable that she kept reading the instructions to make sure she got the recipe just right.
Whoa! Cookie dough placed in brownie batter! What genius thought of that? He or she should get a raise. I couldn’t wait for these bars to be done!
Again, she needed to make sure these brownies were just right.
These brownies came out perfect! After they cooled, I cut them into 12 squares and then Aubrey portioned into snack bags and place into the bin.
Next my oldest daughter Emma made the Annie’s Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies. This mix also came together quickly and was scrumptious.
Emma likes baking but she’s also not opposed to keeping life simple. Therefore, she wanted to make the Annie’s Break and Share Dough Vanilla Sugar Cookies. That’s more up her speed. Aubrey’s the “let’s bake cookies all day” type of girl. Emma’s more “hurry up and make me cookies” person. Ha! Typically, I don’t purchase prepared refrigerated cookie dough but I wanted to try this dough out. I like to have easy options when I don’t have time to bake from a mix or scratch. Plus, it’s Annie’s so I can feel confident it’s made with goodness.
All Emma needed to do was break a part the dough and place it on the baking sheet. Easy peasy.
These took no time at all to bake and were super good! After they were done Emma suggested these cookies could easily be decorated with sprinkles or frosting, perfect for a party. Agree, I made a mental note for our next sleepover party.
After the cookies were cooled we portioned out into bags and put them in the snack bin. Then I portioned out the Annie’s cracker mixes and placed those in the snack bin too. When all was said and done this is what our snack bin looked like for the week. Now this looks like a lot but we are having many friends coming over. Also, I can stick the baked goods in the freezer if the kiddos don’t eat everything.
The ideas for snack bins are endless. Annie’s Homegrown has so many tasty products to choose from. I told my sister about the sale on Annie’s at Whole Foods so she took my nephew Sam to check out some of the Annie’s snacks he would choose. She sent me these pictures and I had to share them with you. He’s so cute!
Clearly, he’s just like his Aunt Tammy and loves the Annie’s Cheddar Squares.
And, of course, just like his big cousins he grabbed a box of Annie’s Organic Cheddar Squares. I mean really, can he be any cuter?
Thank you again to Whole Foods and Annie’s for sponsoring this post. I was compensated but all opinions and thoughts are my own. Don’t forget from July 26th – August 22nd you get $5 off when you spend $15 on Annie’s Homegrown products at Whole Foods! You can learn more about Annie’s products by checking out their website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Also, check out the Whole Foods website, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for information and recipe ideas.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Annie’s. The opinions and text are all mine.