Ideas for Preschool Snacks?


Emma

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My little boy is starting preschool next week.  I plan to pack his lunch and snack every day and he will have the option of eating it or the other foods that are there.

 

I just learned that we also need to provide snack for the group several times a month.  The snacks must be store bought because of licensing rules.  We live in a pretty remote area and fruit is expensive - one apple easily costs two or three dollars.

 

What are some packaged snack ideas others have come up with that

 

1.  Other kids will like?

2.  Able to order on amazon

3.  Not too crazy expensive

4.  In line with our healthy eating, but not necessarily strict Whole30 or paleo.

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I just now came in here for the same thing! We have to provide snacks for a month at a time and I'm so clueless. Last year subsisted of mainly Goldfish and raisins and while I'm not strict paleo with my daughter or anything and I have zero control over what the other parents send, I wouldn't mind hearing options from others. Oh, and they also have to be snacks that will keep for a long time with no refrigeration. Please tell me I'm not the only one frustrated.

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That sounds absolutely ridiculous....and frustrating!! I'm struggling to think of anything I'd find acceptable to have as a snack that would be bought, packaged, and last a long time.

What about fruit leather (not sure what you call it - puréed fruit dehydrated in sheets, rolled up?) or some sort of coconut/date based bar?

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Fruit bars aren't a bad idea. I wonder if I can find any for a good price. There are eight kids, including mine, in her cass. Five days a week for a month. That's a lot of fruit bars! ;)

Oh, wow! Surely it's cheaper and better for everyone to provide their own? I don't think that kind of thing happens much over here ( Aus)....I know kindy/pre schoolers are sometimes given food, but its provided by the facility.

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They have those portable applesauces that you squeeze, I'm pretty sure they are available without added sugar. You would probably want something to go with it, though, as it probably wouldn't keep the kids full. Larabars, but they are more expensive and I don't know if nuts are allowed. Also various trail mixes come in individual size bags.

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Yeah, it's pricey, but I think it's a fair trade since the preschool I have her in is one of the more affordable ones around me. I'm only paying $150 per month for 5 days a week, 9-12. The next cheapest place for the same amount of time was $130 per WEEK! Where she's at now I have the option of letting her stay for lunch, a lunch that I provide. Everywhere else would also let her stay for lunch, but THEY provided the lunch and were very short with me when I brought up packing her lunch. I think where I'm at saves costs by not providing the food and having the parents bring in snacks, etc. It's also a church, so they don't receive any gov't money, but my LO came out of her 2 yr old class knowing her letters, numbers, colors, and shapes, so they are actually teaching the kids too. They work on spelling and writing starting with the 3 yr olds (her class).

Maybe I just won't stress too much over the snack since I have 100% control over all her full meals. I just wish it wasn't so complicated and so hard to get people to listen just because I prefer my daughter to have real food. Sigh.

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Unsweetened applesauce, fresh fruit, or fruit leather are the first things that come to mind to me. Sweet potato chips with hummus (send serving cups with a large container) or a yogurt dip (tsaziki or plain yogurt mixed with mild salsa), yogurt tubes (gogurt simple or stonyfield doesn't have a lot of random crap in it), baby carrots, apple slices (possibly with yogurt for dipping), freeze dried fruit, regular dried fruit, banana chips. Mini bell peppers and grape tomatoes or grapes are also kid friendly.

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Those are some good ideas, Ravin. I didn't think about banana chips. The hummus and yogurt would be good and I have that kind of thing for her at home, but the school doesn't have refrigeration for their snacks. I also have to send enough for an entire month, so some fresh stuff would be okay for the first few days, but after that it would get dicey. Maybe I'll go speak to her teacher to see if she would mind if I sent my stuff in maybe once a week just so I can have more options. She might be okay if I reassure her that even though I'm not sending them all at once, I will make sure the kids get their snacks.

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Thanks everybody!  I spent some time looking around on amazon.com this morning for unsweetened organic applesauce, fruit leather made with just fruit, and some other fruit snacks.  I like the jerky idea too because it's more substantial, but got frustrated by prices and additives.

 

Right now the things in my cart include:

 

Santa Cruz organic applesauce in individual cups

Stretch Island Fruit Leathers

Brothers All Natural Variety Pack Crisps (Freeze dried fruit with nothing added)

Plum Kids Organic Fruit and Vegetable Mash Ups (pureed fruit and veggies in a squeeze container)

 

I saw some good trail mix from Trader Joe's listed on Amazon, but the price was ridiculous.  Maybe when we travel, we can pick up some of their tastier trail mixes that are peanut free.  

 

We do get baby carrots and bananas in our store for our relatively good price so I will bring those in as well.  

 

When I look at the things in my amazon shopping cart, I feel pretty confident that the kids will like everything and I feel good about the lack of processed ingredients, but they are frustratingly just sugar snacks.  Ah well.  I have to let this go.  The kids aren't in school that long and will certainly survive.

 

(I'm going to wait a few more days before placing my order and would continue to love ideas or products that are packaged)

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Look for hummus in cans or shelf stable packets. Also, sweet potato chips. Gf nut free crackers might be good. Out of curiosity, why do you have to order from amazon? Do you not have a Wal-Mart near you? Mine has things like organic applesauce and sweet potato chips.

Carrots, packaged apple slices, etc. Should be fine in a lunch cooler until snack time. Will they not let you drop off fresh snacks x times for your share?

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Luckily, since her school isn't a public/gov't funded, nuts are okay. I think I've decided to find some trail mix that doesn't have a whole lot if junk in it or see what I can buy in bulk to make my own. That's probably the best solution and I'm not going to stress too much over it. Her meals are controlled by my husband and me and I can let go enough to not worry too much over one snack. I do love everyone's ideas though. Now I have great ideas for snacks to keep at home!

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Look for hummus in cans or shelf stable packets. Also, sweet potato chips. Gf nut free crackers might be good. Out of curiosity, why do you have to order from amazon? Do you not have a Wal-Mart near you? Mine has things like organic applesauce and sweet potato chips.

Carrots, packaged apple slices, etc. Should be fine in a lunch cooler until snack time. Will they not let you drop off fresh snacks x times for your share?

 

We live in a pretty small town off the main road system.  Our produce prices are really high and our produce is inconsistent, though the carrots and bananas are not as expensive as the apples.  I can definitely bring fresh produce, but I'm not allowed to cut it.

 

No Walmarts, Targets, or big name grocery stores near us.  I'm kicking myself for not thinking ahead when I was in the city a few weeks back because I could have picked up things from Costco.  Our next trip won't be for several months.

 

I was just looking at the things in my cart and many are a dollar a serving.  Ouch.  It's not a super lot, but it ads up.  Lara Bars seem like expensive things, but in bulk, they're no worse cost wise than what I currently have in my cart.  I may explore that idea as well.  I'll also look up individual hummus packs - that could be fun.

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