When schools closed in March, kids and parents suddenly found themselves spending more time than ever at home. While some people used their their time at home to take up new hobbies, other people were just plain bored.

While some of us might find constructive things to do when we’re bored, other people find themselves binge watching the latest Netflix craze, and yet other people find themselves snacking like crazy.

If you’re a parent, you probably found yourself preparing what seemed like endless snacks for your kids besides their regular breakfast, lunch and dinner. Boredom probably played a huge part in our kids bigger than usual appetites, or perhaps they were eating out of stress from the drastic change to their lives when schools closed.

Whatever the reason, endless snacking can be both expensive and time-consuming. Most parents don’t have time to get their kids so many snacks, but it’s hard to deny a child when he or she says he or she is hungry. 

Mom of three, Jen Hallstrom, came up with a creative solution to her kids’ endless snacking that was very effective. Instead of preparing a snack for her children whenever they said they were hungry, she got all of the snacks ready in the morning.

She assigned a plastic basket to each of her children, and she put all of their snacks for the entire day in the basket along with a water bottle. She gave them enough food for about four snacks, and once those snacks were gone, they weren’t going to get any more until the next day.

The snack baskets came with a couple rules. First of all, the children weren’t allowed to steal snacks from their siblings; however, they were allowed to trade snacks. For example, if one child had a banana and their sibling had an apple, they could trade if they wanted to.

Hallstrom posted a photo of one day’s snack baskets on Facebook, and the post quickly went viral. It has been shared more than 403,000 times. Many parents loved this hack and wanted to try it themselves.

If your children are back in school, perhaps the endless snacking has ended, but this could still be worth trying on the weekend or during a school break. For those of us whose kids are doing school online right now, we wish we had known about this hack, like, yesterday, and we plan to implement it right away.