Pre-school = Snack Sign-Up
The preschool age can be really exciting for kids and parents because children are becoming more independent. Some preschool age children are going to school for the first time and others are continuing with daycare. Parents may also be responsible for bringing a snack for the entire class as part of a snack schedule and based on allergy guidelines for some preschools parents may be left wondering what to bring.
I would like to provide you with a few ideas on preschool snacks and I want you to remember that this can be a good time to introduce some different foods to your child and their friends. The reason is because many preschools, especially if they are ½ day programs, have meals and snacks offered to kids pretty close together. When my son was in preschool his schedule was like this:
7-7:30 am- Breakfast at home
8:00-8:15 am- Drop off at preschool. If the free breakfast was still being served he may have a second breakfast if it was something he liked.
8:30 am- Started class and a snack would be offered sometime between 9 am- and 11 am.
11:30 am- I would either pick him up and he would have lunch at home or he would stay for an aftercare program and eat the lunch I packed or a lunch provided by the school.
When I looked at this schedule I realized that he and his classmates went to class with full bellies and typically left class and ate lunch right away. Therefore, when it was my turn to bring snack I tried to shake things up a little bit because I figured they were not going to starve if they did not like the snack.
Things to keep in mind when preparing the class snack:
- Many preschools require that the snack have 2 different food groups to meet requirements for accreditation. Even if it is not required I think this is a good rule. I would also recommend always including a fruit or vegetable as part of the snack. Do not have fruit juice count as a fruit because the amount of sugar in the juice negates the fruit that is in it.
- Include at least one item that kids will see as more familiar. For example, one time I brought a small salad with dressing, but on the side included fruit or whole grain crackers as a familiar item.
- If it is approved by the teacher try to provide the snack in a way that the children can serve themselves. Rather than place foods in individual baggies make a platter of fruit and cheese or vegetables and crackers and include small tongs that the children can use to serve themselves. This helps to foster their independence and allows them to take the amount they want.
Suggestions for preschool snacks:
- Chips and salsa
- Salad mix with dressing served with fruit
- Yogurt and fruit
- Bagels and cream cheese with fruit
- Carrot and celery sticks with cheese cube
- Pita with hummus and red peppers
- Hard – boiled eggs and carrots
*All of these snacks are nut free because many preschools are nut free. Please check with your preschool about allergy preferences and what their snack policy is.
Here is a throw back to when I had preschoolers.