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View Full Version : Preschool: Do you provide snack for class? ..looking for ideas



JAJ
09-20-2007, 11:03 AM
Our Preschool has a sign up sheet for the moms to take turns providings snacks/juice for the class.
We've been given an outline/suggstions of the healty foods allowed.
Today I saw a mom from another class coming in with a cute animal display of cubed cheese on sticks....so I'm now looking for ideas of cute snack ideas. If you have any I'd love to hear them!
Thanks!:):)

Kanga
09-20-2007, 12:12 PM
What's on the list of acceptable foods?

lauren f s
09-20-2007, 12:34 PM
Here is a list of cute ideas from Kraft.

Kraft Snacks (http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=recipe/knet_recipe_grid&u1=bytype&u2=12*152)

JAJ
09-20-2007, 01:13 PM
Hi, Thanks or the kraft site! Very cute ideas!!!

Our choices include: Cut up fruit, bagels, animal crackers,whole grain rice cakes, raw veggies, fruit breads, whole wheat or graham crackers, pretzels, mini muffins, dry cereal, yogurt, cheese.

lauren f s
09-20-2007, 01:48 PM
Hmm...

For the fruit, and fruit bread too, you could use mini cookie cutters and cut them out into fun shapes. I've done this with fruit salad and it looks cute!

You could bring in yogurt with fun mix-ins, like fruit, cereal, granola. My DD loves doing this because she thinks she's cooking ;).

mamax2
09-21-2007, 04:01 PM
We also have a snack rotation. Unfortunately, I find that our school actually discourages anything healthy - they want pretzles, cookies, chips, crackers, Goldfish. Drinks have to be juice boxes. They prefer snacks to be individually wrapped snack size pouches and due to a little boy with an allergy, all items have to be tree nut/peanut free. Oh, and this same little boy isn't allowed to have anything homemade, so while we are 'allowed' to bring homemade items, they don't encourage it because then he'd have to have an alternate snack by himself.

I'm thinking of bucking the system and sending in apple slices & cheese cubes next month :p

To make matters worse, snack time/recess time combined is just 20 minutes. How the heck do they expect 18 4-5 y.o. to get cleaned up, eat, cleaned up again, outside to play and back in within 20 minutes???

Phen
09-21-2007, 09:07 PM
I've sent those little 100-cal packs of Mini Fig Newtons to my kids' class when they were snack stars. The teacher thanked me afterwards for not being the 79th week in a row to send Goldfish crackers. ;)

~ phen

kristin
09-22-2007, 02:15 PM
Ask the teachers what they think is the easiest/best snack to bring. As clever as alot of people try to make snack time, at our school it's really just 5 minutes of getting a little something into their bellies before they go outside to play. One mom brought in jello jigglers shaped like pumpkins last year for Halloween, and it was cute but the teachers were less than thrilled.

Last year, the kids in DS's class loved strawberries and cheese and crackers. Cheap and easy.

I can't believe schools want people to bring juice boxes! They are hard for toddlers to manage and developmentally, it's so much more appropriate for them to drink from cups.

bluebunny
09-22-2007, 02:56 PM
I don't have to bring a snack for my DS's school because the school provides it but yogurt always seems to be a hit. Or what about "trail mix"--various cereals (Chex, Cheerios, Kix) with goldfish and pretzels.

mamax2
09-22-2007, 03:12 PM
I can't believe schools want people to bring juice boxes! They are hard for toddlers to manage and developmentally, it's so much more appropriate for them to drink from cups.

I know! I can't figure out why they can just give them all a small cup of water. DD's school doesn't allow the 'pouch style' drinks - they have to be boxes.

I do get what you mean about the cleverness/mess factor of snacks though. That's why pretty much anything with a dip is ruled out. I just find our school's snack policy to: 1) somewhat limit parents to highly processed, prepared (expensive!) foods; 2) create a TON of waste since they prefer things to be individually wrapped and 3) just kind of sad in general that they only have 20 minutes combined for snack and recess. I mean, out of a 3 hour day, they only get 20 minutes for a snack and play. I guess that's really a whole 'nother beast to deal with though *sigh*

dziner
09-24-2007, 07:43 PM
We have even more restrictions - our preschool is kosher AND nut-free. We can't prep anything at all before bringing, so nothing homemade, not even pre-cut fruit allowed. Thankfully they actually do just give out little cups of water - I don't like my kids to have a whole lot of juice.

That said, you could try dried fruit - DD's class loved the dried cherries and golden raisins we brought in with pretzel crisps (the flat kind). Also sent in grahams with a container of strawberry cream cheese, yum! Mini boxes of raisins, animal crackers, grapes, crackers with hummus are regulars at our school, too.

Love the Fig Newton idea! Gotta see if those are kosher...

jki
09-24-2007, 08:24 PM
I would love some ideas as well! Our preschool is nut free and the snack must consist of foods from 2 different food groups. I usually send string cheese, some form of cracker (animal crackers, Kashii, goldfish, whatever) and cut up fruit. I see a lot of raisins.

My next scheduled date is at the end of October and I was thinking of making pumpkin and zuchinni muffins but can't think of what to serve with them and I'm wondering if the kids won't like them!

Renrel
09-25-2007, 01:52 PM
jki - maybe cream cheese to spread on them. I would find that yummy. And even if some kids don't like the muffins it is good for them to get to experience new foods. If you ice the muffens with cream cheese maybe the kids could decorate them with sprinkles or raisen or something similiar and thus find them more approachable?

Some different snack ideas -

If it is logistically possible many kids get a kick out of frozen fruit, right out of the bag. Of course you have to be able to get to school before it all defrosts, they must have a freezer at school and some of it can be messy (dark berries stain).

corn chips and gaucamole

bite bites cereal or something similar

fresh fruit - apples, pears, bananas, ect

manderine oranges

AlisonCO
09-25-2007, 08:44 PM
jki - I think that muffins would be good - most kids won't really know that they are pumpkin because they are yummy and sweet.

To answer the op - yes we rotate snack at DS's school so we bring one every 11-13 school days. Our rules (besides being nutfree) are that it must be small since they eat lunch 2 hours later and it must not come prepackaged - 1 because they don't want to spend the time to open each bag of crackers or each cheese wrapper and 2 they are stressing not being wasteful. DS's teacher loves things like trail mix that come in a big container that she can give each kid a cup full from so today he had prezel goldfish, crasins and cherrios. One day they had cheese cubes and popcorn. I was planning to do mini oat muffins but DS's first time is for his b-day so I am doing rice krispy treats.

Also they only serve water at snack time and drink boxes or pouches are not allowed. The kids can bring milk or water for lunch but it must be in a water bottle or other resusable container. I love this rule!

mamax2
09-26-2007, 11:59 AM
I did it, I returned my school survey today and wrote 1/2 page about the missed opportunities for teaching the children about environmental stewardship (75 juice boxes/day for pre-k anyone??) and healthy food choices (HFCS and partially hydrogenated crap?!?) :D

jki ~ I think pumpkin and zucchini muffins sound great! Why would you have to serve them w/anything else? You would already have 2 food groups represented - grains/carbs & fruit/veggie. I tend to think dips/spreads can be messy and time consuming, which might be a problem if their snack time is short. My DD's class has very little snack time, so I'm really concious of making it quick, but in a class with more time, maybe it's fine.

jki
09-26-2007, 04:11 PM
Another thing I thought of is zucchini pancakes, here's (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_1127,00.html) a recipe. I wanted to bring hummus with vegetables but another mom sent that once and no one ate it. :(

I usually bring 3 different snack items because my child is the world's pickiest eater. When I ask what he had for snack at school, the most common answer is "water." :rolleyes:

Our school also only serves water at snacktime and everything is served on reusable dishes. Plastic baggies are not allowed in lunches and cloth napkins and reusable drink containers are recommended.

mamax2
09-26-2007, 07:47 PM
Our school also only serves water at snacktime and everything is served on reusable dishes. Plastic baggies are not allowed in lunches and cloth napkins and reusable drink containers are recommended.


Also they only serve water at snack time and drink boxes or pouches are not allowed. The kids can bring milk or water for lunch but it must be in a water bottle or other resusable container. I love this rule!

jki & Alison ~ I just have to ask, do your kids go to private preschool? If it's public I'd be especially interested in learning more about the guidelines being followed. I'd love to see my DD's school enact something like this, but IME, only the Montessori school offers what I consider an environmentally responsible protocol. It would be great to know if other public schools are doing this.

Ohana
09-27-2007, 12:12 PM
Trail mix is always a hit at DD's preschool. They are also nut free, so the trail mix consists of various dry cereal (Cheerios, Chex, Kix), dried cranberries or raisins, tiny pretzels, animal crackers, and every once in a while, chocolate chips.

However, DD's favorite snack is probably cheese bread with marinara sauce. I used to make them by putting a bit of cheese on brown and serve breadsticks and baking those up. Serve with marinara. It does not have to be warm to be yummy.

dana b
09-27-2007, 05:40 PM
Our school also only serves water at snacktime and everything is served on reusable dishes. Plastic baggies are not allowed in lunches and cloth napkins and reusable drink containers are recommended.

you must be in northern cali ;)

we can bring juice, but they want the large containers or frozen. we're also supposed to bring whole fruit for the teachers to cut up. i've yet to see this w/ my own eyes, i can't imagine them cutting fruit for 75 kids :eek:

jki
09-27-2007, 07:21 PM
jki & Alison ~ I just have to ask, do your kids go to private preschool? If it's public I'd be especially interested in learning more about the guidelines being followed. I'd love to see my DD's school enact something like this, but IME, only the Montessori school offers what I consider an environmentally responsible protocol. It would be great to know if other public schools are doing this.

Yes, it is a private preschool but as far as I know, all preschools in CA are private.


you must be in northern cali

How'd ya guess? I can't imagine cutting up fruit for 75 kids, either. It takes me forever to cut up fruit for 20!

AlisonCO
09-27-2007, 08:35 PM
jki & Alison ~ I just have to ask, do your kids go to private preschool? If it's public I'd be especially interested in learning more about the guidelines being followed. I'd love to see my DD's school enact something like this, but IME, only the Montessori school offers what I consider an environmentally responsible protocol. It would be great to know if other public schools are doing this.


Yes, it is a private preschool. I don't think that we have any public preschools here (as in thru the school district/free) except for Headstart pre-K. Apparently about 5 years ago the school started asking for parent feedback and several put together some ways to be more environmentally freindly. After reading the ideas some of the teachers realized that these new ideas would actually be way easier on them too. They especially like the no box/pouch rule as most 3 years old are still pretty messy with those. My son's teacher said that about 2 years ago she started the no baggie/only reusable container rule and all of the other teachers followed that. During our open house she had several examples of containers for sandwiches etc. Finally she encourages each child to bring 3 different foods from 3 different groups and then one treat item - all kids must eat 3 bites of each of the healthy things before they eat their treat. I was surprised at first to read these rules but I am so happy to see the emphasis on low waste and healthy eating - my hope is that since they are starting early that the kids will take it with them into the school system.



did it, I returned my school survey today and wrote 1/2 page about the missed opportunities for teaching the children about environmental stewardship (75 juice boxes/day for pre-k anyone??) and healthy food choices (HFCS and partially hydrogenated crap?!?)


Awesome - good for you! Sometimes it just takes one person to change things!

MizLarner
09-28-2007, 09:54 PM
To make matters worse, snack time/recess time combined is just 20 minutes. How the heck do they expect 18 4-5 y.o. to get cleaned up, eat, cleaned up again, outside to play and back in within 20 minutes???

That's a disaster waiting to happen, IMO! Our school doesn't have a set-aside snack time, but our class usually has it after our 30min+ morning recess. We are scheduled for 30 min but quite often it is closer to 45min - hour before we make it in and have a potty break. My snack policy is, if I don't have to do more than hand it out, I'm happy enough! I have one child whose family (mom, grandma, possibly an aunt as well?) regularly bring up snacks for us. Nothing that takes preparation time at home, but I'm not concerned about that. I wouldn't have anyplace to keep a snack that wasn't in a box, before snack time (we have our snack in our room) and I've got a student who tends to put just about anything in his mouth, especially food that's set out!

Taurus
08-29-2008, 10:09 AM
bump

Tray85
08-29-2008, 12:06 PM
We have to provide snacks and yep, most people seem to bring in all of the processed junk. There is a no juice box/bag rule, but you are supposed to bring in a big container of juice w/ cups. I'm bringing the all natural type of applesauce. My daughter wanted the blueberry kind, but I thought that would be a nightmare! :P

mommy2allyandaveri
09-03-2008, 02:31 PM
DD is in K this year and tomorrow is our first day to bring snack. This was a totally new concept to me. DD did pre-school last year but yes we paid tuition so I suppose that is why we never had to provide snack.

I already got graham crackers and fat free milk to send tomorrow but next time I think I might try some of the things listed here like trail mix or cheese and crackers. Great ideas!

They try to stress healthy snacks but I know that sometimes she gets junk which is frustrating to me because I NEVER give her juice, now she is likely getting it at snack time in class and at snack time in her afterschool program. I might have to do something about that. She is probably drinking 200 calories in juice alone.

emschwar
09-04-2008, 09:28 PM
I can post the snack list for our preschool (I'm the mom in charge of making the schedule for snacks and co-oping). Our class is nut and dairy free though, due to allergies, so it's pretty restrictive*. Plus the state has rules about what can and can't be served. And except for birthday treats, nothing can be prepared at home (we have to bring unopened boxes, etc to school, and all fruits and veggies must be cut up at school).

*I think I have the snack list for the whole school though, which is just nut-free. Only our class can't have dairy.

jay&erinn
09-05-2008, 05:53 PM
We also rotate snack, and did so last year too. No juice boxes are allowed and they discourage individual packages- too time consuming. Large containers of juice can be brought in. Our state has had a wellness policy for a few years now, so no "junk" even on birthdays, etc. I think each class is allowed one or two junk type snacks a year. DD had ice cream once in the spring and I think pizza at a party in the fall. Unfortunately junk does not include crackers (goldfish, etc), which they get way too much of at snack time. DD usually likes taking cheese, whole wheat crackers and milk. I hate that she gets juice from most of the parents- I'd rather see her have a little extra milk if she's going to drink calories. We've also sent in applesauce, cut up fruit (but that's quite time consuming for me), yogurt, baby carrots with fat free ranch dressing, and granola bars last year. I might try the trail mix next time- I like that idea.

QPDoll
09-05-2008, 08:23 PM
I usually ask ahead what the lesson of the day will be, and if they are highlighting a specific letter of the day, color, shape, etc. I often will try to incorporate it.
Class was highlighting the letter "P", so I brought in popcorn and grape juice (purple).
Another day was C and I brought in cheese cubes (both yellow and white cheese) and crackers. I look ahead at the schedule and try to pick the weeks with easy food-related letters. LOL

usafwife
09-11-2008, 10:07 PM
The preschool DD goes to provides the snacks. We can bring something in for birthdays or other things as long as we let them know ahead of time. They do ask that no cake or cupcakes be sent (too many crumbs). They suggest things such as cookies, trail mix, finger Jello ice cream, etc.

Should be interesting when DS attends school since he has a food allergy and is also suppose to avoid a few other foods. His doctor says he might outgrow it but right now we are just in a waiting mode to see how it plays out. Too early to tell right now.

newyorkgirl
09-13-2008, 02:46 PM
We have a sign-up sheet for snacks too, and I usually sign up twice a month of so. I can't imagine cutting up fruit for 75 kids either! We only have about 12 in the class.

We don't have a wellness program, per se, but most parents stick to pretty healthy snacks, and the school encourages it. It's usually some form of cracker, cut-up fruit, and maybe a cheese stick or yogurt that the teacher scoops a bit out and puts on each plate. They have reusable melamine plates and cups and only serve water with snacks.

Our school's pretty relaxed in its approach, so the parents sometimes come up with pretty fun ideas for snack - I know next week a mom is bringing a blender in to make smoothies, and last year one mom brought in a toaster oven to make English muffin pizzas. They usually clear it with the teacher in advance so it becomes part of the day's program. I'm thinking of bringing in an electric skillet and making letter pancakes (put multigrain pancake batter into one of those condiment squeeze bottles, cut the hole at the top a little bigger) for my next turn up, but I need to talk with the teacher.

I've brought in pumpkin mini muffins before, jki, and the kids love it. I've also done bell pepper strips with hummus and ranch dips, carrot sticks, yogurt-covered raisins (although these are a little on the sweet side, IMO, I really just didn't have much in my pantry that day), melon balls (watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe), Veggie Booty, Snackiddy grilled cheese puffs, freeze-dried fruit (available at Trader Joe's, Costco and Whole Foods), Asian rice crackers (kids love the fun shapes), rice cakes, homemade items (banana bread, scones, muffins), etc. We went to a pick-your-own cherry farm one time and I pitted enough cherries for the class and DS got to share with them his cherry-picking experience. Probably the most adventurous I got was when I did sort of an Asian-themed snack with roasted seaweed (a brand called Sea's Gift), cut-up pineapple, and little steamed buns (bought at a local Asian store). Some kids went for it, others didn't, but the teachers appeared to appreciate the novelty.

Our class doesn't specifically have any food allergies, but the school is nut-free and there are students in the adjoining class who carry epi-pens, so the administration is just being careful. As long as we provide ingredient lists for the homemade items, they can adjust accordingly. They keep a pantry of generic snacks (graham crackers, goldfish, cheese sticks, etc.) in case no one signs up for snack on a particular day or a food allergy prevents a kid for taking part in the regular snack.

Taurus
10-08-2008, 04:53 PM
It's been our turn twice now. There are no restrictions, they just ask that things already be cut up and if you bring a drink, it must be 100% juice or non- or reduced-fat milk (or they just give water).

The first time I did the oatmeal blueberry bars (made with spinach) from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook (but made with WW flour instead of regular) and cut into very small bars. I also brought cheddar cheese cubes.

The second time (the theme was apples and the song was "Apples and Bananas") I did low-sugar whole wheat apple mini muffins and banana chips.

Taurus
02-09-2009, 11:49 AM
Bumping...our turn is coming up again. Last time we did carrot sticks (halved the long way), dip and Cars movie crackers (DS' favorite). Now the theme for the week I'm bringing is "Things that Go". I have some small (about 1.5-inch) cookie cutters in transportation shapes and I often cut cheese slices with these for DS' lunch. But I'd like to do something other than cheese, which it seems like they ALWAYS have. Any ideas for what I can do with these cookie cutters? I am thinking of cutting tortillas with them and baking chips to serve with non-spicy guacamole. Any ideas?

NicoleWisconsin
02-09-2009, 08:58 PM
Mini sandwiches - PB on bread? Anything you could sandwich - pitas... Tortillas...

Cucumbers?

You could get the fruit smooshers/fruit leather and cut those out with them... hmm..

kristin
02-09-2009, 09:58 PM
Taurus - Where did you get the "Things that Go" cookie cutters? My DS would love those!

Could you do jello jigglers? Perhaps using the color of the week? Very easy to make (albeit more challenging to serve). I think I posted this before, but a mom in DS's class did orange pumpkin shaped ones for Halloween. Very cute and a big hit with the kids.

amew
02-09-2009, 11:37 PM
My DS's day care class loves little cream cheese on whole wheat sandwiches, with or without jam or spreadable fruit added, as an alternative to the banned PB&J. You could cut those with cookie cutters. I have also sliced fresh pears in thin, vertical slices before and then used a small cookie cutter to make shapes out of those. Or what about cutting waffles or pancakes with the cookie cutters? Maybe with applesauce or something for dipping? Cutting pita bread with cookie cutters and then sending in hummus to dip would be cute. I like the tortilla and guac idea, too.

Our day care assigns parents a particular snack because they got sick of people always bringing things like goldfish or animal crackers. The things they assign include:

plain yogurt with fruit to add in
cheese and crackers
various fruits (strawberries, grapes, and bananas seem to be popular)
nutrigrain bars
waffles and pancakes
tortillas and guac or bean dip (we live in Texas, so these kids eat Mexican food all the time)
veggies and ranch dressing
applesauce
graham crackers
crackers/bread and cream cheese
string cheese

Taurus
02-10-2009, 01:19 PM
Thank you for the suggestions!!! The challenge is that the cutters aren't very sturdy and are on the smaller side with detail, so it has to be just the right food to cut...

kristin- I got them on Amazon. At the time they were offered by Amazon, as opposed to the private seller I am seeing now. They are a bit bigger than I mentioned, more like 2 inches. I also got a set of animal ones, that are even smaller. The brand is Fox Run--such cute stuff!

Transportation cookie cutters (http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Run-Transportation-Piece-Set/dp/B001716OYM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1234297074&sr=1-1)
Animal cookie cutters (http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Run-Animal-Cookie-Cutter/dp/B0000VLP2G/ref=pd_sim_hg_7)

Taurus
03-06-2009, 10:50 AM
The baked tortilla chips cut out in shapes worked out great!

Any suggestions for "theme" snacks for Rainforest week or Spring week? If there's a way to tie it in, I like to (and it gets DS particularly excited about going to school on those mornings), but it's not a big deal.

Taurus
07-23-2010, 11:25 PM
Bump

Jen309
07-27-2010, 08:58 PM
Our preschool does an assigned rotation, usually the closest date to their b-day for sure, and then evenly rotated the rest of the year. The teachers and student teachers (the pre-s is located in the HS where DH teaches and they have a 'teacher cadet' program, basically = 5 extra sets of hands for most of the day) provide too, so I think we only did 2 or 3 times last year. First time was in the fall and I sent WW pumpkin muffins and apple juice and the second time was his b-day and 'Outer Space' was the theme, so I made planet sugar cookies. Ultimate in unhealthy, but they were surprisingly fair renditions of the planets - I sent water that time. Both received rave reviews. The 3rd time was animal crackers (from Whole Foods) and cheese sticks and water.

The daily snack is always posted on the announcement board, so I check it to see what he's had... popular items are apple slices (at least 3x a week in the fall) go-gurt, goldfish, cheese sticks, pretzels.

Our restrictions are peanut free, large drink (water, milk or 100% juice) and no cakes or cupcakes (though muffins are ok. Hmmm...). I don't worry too much about the serving of juice there because they serve maybe 2 oz in a dixie cup. It's so cute, they put 3 little containers of juice water and milk on each table and the kid gets to choose (mine always chooses juice :rolleyes:) so that even if the parent brought juice or whatever, the other options are always available.

Chimichanga
07-28-2010, 11:28 AM
We did 1x month last year, and I'd imagine DD will have to bring snacks at least once a month again (although I think the class will be a bit larger).

We did:
- cut up melons/skim milk
- chocolate pudding (skim milk)/graham crackers
- 100% whole wheat crackers and cheese with 100% juice
- all natural fruit popsicles (it was a hot day)
- fresh fruit, yogurt and granola parfaits (didn't go over too well :( but they were delish!!)
- cut up apples and raisins
- for DD's birthday celebration, we did buy cupcakes and milk

I'll probably do similar things this year. We know that one of DD's friends doesn't like cheese, so we won't bring that again (because now DD doesn't like cheese - ugh) but everything else has been eaten up.