Need ideas for snacks at preschool

girlsingardensAugust 15, 2007

I can't believe it, Rhiannon starts preschool this fall after Labor Day. I am having a bit of a hard time thinking that she is old enough to go. But She is ready to go and will also get extra speech help that she does need. We went in last night to talk with her teacher and see her room. She has been up there with Dan several times. Her classroom is just across the room from his office at school.

The teacher said that they will each have to take a snack a couple of times a month. She suggested bringing some of Rhiannon's favorite snacks to school. But considering that would be peppers and tomatoes I doubt that would work very well. She loves any and all fruits and veggies but so many kids don't like them so I need to come up with some ideas. So any ideas for snacks for 4-5 year olds. There are only 7 in her class so don't have to worry more than 2 times a month and there aren't very many kids. Also the whole school is working on being more healthy. During the school day there are no snacks or pop or gatoraid so the snack needs to be healthy.Also needs to be easy to make and transport, considering we also have a 2 year old and one month old and not a lot of time :)


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I teach a childrens cooking classes. My 5-year-olds generally love vegetables and dip. What about sending each child a small baggie with 'little' veggies (baby carrots, grape tomatoes, small pieces of celery, etc) and a small cup of low-fat dip. You can get the little cups and lids from the local bar supply. You could even cut peppers, cucumbers and other 'flat' vegetables with small canape cutters to make cute shapes.

Another snack my classes love, is fruit served in ice cream cones, topped with some fruit-flavored yogurt, and a sprinkling of granola--but that involves some last minute prep.

How about cheese and crackers--again, thick slices of cheese can be cut into stars and moons with a cookie cutter.

How about tiny sandwiches? fruit-flavored cream cheese on white bread. Cream cheese and apple slices on raisin bread. Cut into squares, rectangles or triangles (or go with the cookie cutters again)

Carrot cake or carrot cookies? homemade quick breads or mini-muffins (zucchini, apple, blueberry, etc.

Celery filled with cream cheese, topped with raisins.

for snacks that need no (or very little) prep--mini rice cakes, crackers, pretzels, raisins, grapes. How about frozen grapes, if there is a freezer available--just wash seedless grapes, put in the freezer on a tray until they're hard, pop into a ziplock bag. Great cool, nutritious treat.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 8:52AM
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Does her school have a rule about No Homemde snacks? My sons school has that rule and i have brought in the fruit and veggies which is accepted. I also did sandwiched in which i brought the ingrediants and they assembled it at school. My sons school also required that on the list of ingrediants sugar cannot be the 1st or 2nd listed on the package. Is it this way at her school too?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:11AM
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The preschool my kids attended had a "no nuts" rule since there always seems to be one child that is severely allergic to them.

One of the really popular snacks I used to send is popcorn. Buying the individual bags can get expensive, so buy a large bag and portion it out among several small zip bags.

Rice Krispie treats were also popular, but sugar may be an issue.

What about fruit rolls-ups? My kids loved them and you can get the all natural ones.

I'll try to think of other options too -


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:34AM
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I second the veggies and dip and cheese and crackers. My kids also love celery (with peanut butter, pimento cheese or dip). Banana bread is a huge hit with my daughter's class. I make it it white whole wheat flour. Oatmeal raisin cookies can also be made fairly healthily. With a class that small, you can bring kid yogurt or cheese sticks with out getting a second mortgage. Remember that these are little people, so yogurt and half a banana or a small apple is plenty (maybe even too much). A few weeks into school, ask the teachers what the kids like and don't like.

Find out if any of the kids have food allergies. My kids went to a school where peanut butter was banned, and this doesn't seem to be uncommon.

Keep a box of goldfish and individual apple sauces in the pantry for those days you just don't have time or were up all night.

For my daughter's second grade class, we sign up for snacks for a week at a time. Twenty kids in her class. There's no money in the public school budget for snacks, and they still need them at seven. My daughter finishes breakfast at 7:30 and has lunch at noon.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:41AM
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For bug week:

ants on a log - celery sticks with cream chesse (or peanut butter) in the holow covered in raisins

spiders (also good for Halloween) - take 1 prune, put 8 small pretzel sticks in as legs

other times:

Frosen peas aka popsicle peas were strangely popular. recipe - dump a bag of frozen peas in a bowl.

Cut grapes in half - still a choking hazaard

peanut butter balls - see packing lunches thread.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:53AM
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Yogurt was always a big favorite when Ashley was small enough to still take snacks to school. I also sent "mini" muffins with a dab of jam in the middle, those were always a big hit. Pretzels with cheese dip or peanut butter to dip them in always went over well, even better if I made homemade whole wheat pretzels. Bread sticks with pizza sauce and/or ranch dressing is good, and so was chocolate pudding. We filled graham crackers with nearly anything you could think of, from marshmallow cream and homemade jam to leftover frosting to peanut butter and jelly. Little bags of snack mixes contained dry cereal, dried fruit and maybe a handful of M&Ms, plus some nuts. The kids like walnuts the best, for some reason. Once we tried those frozen chocolate dipped bananas but they were messy and even though I was only a block from school I couldn't keep them frozen long enough.

Oh, and my kids always loved ants on a log or anything on a skewer and I always cut out cheese, sliced meats or brownies with cookie cutters into different shapes, usually numbers or letters or "boys" but sometimes farm animals. Tortillas got rolled around anything that sounded good and a big surprise hit was English muffins topped with pizza sauce, canadian bacon, pineapple and cheese. I baked them at home, packaged them up and they ate them at room temperature. (shrug) Whatever. Oh, and those tiny little bite sized bagels made great little tuna/ham & cheese/turkey/whatever sandwiches, just right for little hands and little appetites.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 12:06PM
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Thank you for all the ideas. I am lucky that we don't have any guidelines as far as no homemade or no nuts in the classroom. So anything goes. All these ideas sound great and will even use some for at home. Peyton is such a picky little eater and I am thinking of trying some of these ideas with her.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Sebastian's class loved smart food, the cheesy popcorn. Jam and bread also went over well. If Rhiannon's favorite snacks are peppers and tomatoes do that one time, just include goldfish as well. Her classmates may follw her lead and love them.

Sebastian's favorites include a mix of cereals (cheerioes, rice chex and kix) with dried cherries, also applesauce (homemade of course).


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 11:01AM
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When my kids were little, I'd buy raisins in those little single-serve boxes. For treats, I sent packages of Fig Newtons cookies. For special days, like birthdays, I sent in those donut things like donut holes, also called Dunkin Donut Munchkins around here. Other parents approved of these snacks, they're portable and not expensive, contain no peanuts, and are fairly healthy as snacks go.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 1:46AM
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My kids always loved faux pepperoni pizza - a tortilla with torn american cheese slices and hot dog coins [pepperoni].

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 12:09AM
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Robin mentioned another one that slipped my mind. I made variations of Chex Mix (no nuts, not spicy) that many of the kids loved. Also just little bags of Honey Nut Cheerios or Apple Frosted Cheerios are pretty good. Not a lot of extra sugar and still has the fiber and other good stuff.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 6:32AM
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I used to teach preschool, so I saw a lot of snack times. Just remember, it will be hard to please everyone. Even with cupcakes--some wouldn't eat them, some would eat only the cake part, and some would eat only the frosting... you get the idea! ;-)

I find that simple is the best with this age group, best not to over think it. Frozen grapes sound very yummy, but are definitely a choking hazard. "My" kids seemed to love anything mini -- mini bagels, mini muffins, goldfish crackers... I see no reason not to try the veggies. Not everyone will eat them, but the teacher will probably have some other snacks left over for anyone who gets upset, if you aren't one of the first of the year. That is how my VERY picky (er "selective") youngest son broadened his food tastes--positive peer pressure. It's kind of sad how we have to have a back-up plan for veggies, isn't it?

I would check with the teacher. She/he will be able to give you some guidance. I used to beg my parents not to send in sugary treats, but most refused to listen. So frustrating!

Enjoy these years. I cried when my youngest son finished preschool. I miss it! ;-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 10:09AM
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