Since time is such a valuable commodity — especially at the start of a new school year — sometimes making healthy snacks easily accessible for everyone, all the time, can be difficult.
Perhaps that's why one mother's Facebook post showcasing a clever fridge hack has recently gone viral.
Sarah Hornung, a school administrator based in Buffalo, New York, is passionate about her job training teachers who help students with special needs. She's also incredibly passionate about meal prepping and staying organized in the kitchen.
On Sept. 15, the mom of two posted a picture showcasing the inside of her refrigerator door. Unlike many fridge doors that are crammed with condiments or eggs, Hornung's is beautifully yet simply organized, featuring plastic containers filled with fresh produce and healthy snacks like string cheese.
“After grocery shopping I always wash and prep all of the food that is considered self-serve in our house,” she explained on Facebook, adding that doing this allows all members of the family easy access to healthy snacks or something they can pack quickly in a lunchbox.
“I could leave the baby carrots in a bag or leave the grapes on the stems but they wouldn’t eat it,” she added.
Within two weeks, the post garnered over 85,000 likes and 32,000 comments, along with a staggering 115,000 shares.
"I think it's something that regardless of how old your kids are, what they like to eat or how much money you make, it is a doable idea. I think this is why it went viral,” Hornung told TODAY Food.
While this snack hack might be new to thousands across social media, it's actually something Hornung (who is now expecting her third child) says she's been doing for quite a while.
“I have been organizing my fridge like this since my oldest started daycare three years ago,” Hornung told TODAY. “He has food allergies so I was always packing him lunches and snacks and it was easiest on me as a working mom if I had everything ready to grab and go. As he and my middle child got older, they started going to this part of the fridge because it was organized and accessible. It evolved from there."
But Hornung has totally been floored by the overwhelming response on social media.
“I am shocked at how viral it became, but the more I read the comments from people, the more I understand it,” she said. “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."
Plus, Hornung added that she thinks parents are always looking for ways to make their lives easier. “It's not an expensive or complicated hack. All you need is some old quart containers and your normal grocery haul,” she said.
Photos of extremely organized pantries and closets (no doubt boosted by Marie Kondo's wildly popular cleaning method) have become all the rage online. But Hornung thinks some of those images might be intimidating to the average person trying to make simple upgrades.
“I have seen a lot of pictures of fridges and pantries on Instagram and Pinterest that are picture-perfect and filled with expensive specialty items," she said. "I think my post appealed to the masses because it looks like most people's fridges, just organized into containers I bought at a dollar store.“
Hornung also shared another one of her favorite ideas she uses to promote healthy eating in her household.
“I make 'char-kid-erie' boards with the foods that are prepped and ready to go, as well," she said, adding that giving her kids the power to choose has made mealtime more fun. "It’s an easy way to throw together a lunch on the weekends or an easy snack."
Char-kid-erie boards might just convince a few adults to have more fun at snack time, too.