Child care centers that serve nutritious snacks will help children learn how to make healthy choices when choosing their own foods in the future. This training toward choosing a more nutritious diet can start at a very young age. The younger the child, the easier it is to mold their habits and taste buds.
Nutritious Snack Ideas
The best way to provide nutritional snacks for young children is to incorporate their favorite foods into the menu. If they find familiar foods in a fun combination, they'll be more likely to give new foods a try. Make sure there are no food allergies before trying these suggestions.
Most children love cheese. A slice of low-fat cheese served on a whole wheat cracker will serve up a protein and a carbohydrate. Students can eat the offering as a cheese and cracker sandwich or they can eat each separate. String cheese is another fun choice for kids to eat. It's not messy and it's portable, so children can carry string cheese outside while eating if need be. They can peel it apart and enjoy it while they play. Cheese and crackers also go well with fruit such as grapes and thinly-sliced apples.
Veggies such as celery and carrots cut into thin strips, along with cherry or grape tomatoes are fun when served up with ranch dip. If none of the children present have peanut allergies, another fun idea for vegetables is to take a thicker strip of celery, spread it with peanut butter, and place a few raisins on top.
Peanut butter is also good served with slices of apple. The apple can be dipped into the peanut butter for a good mix of protein and carbohydrates. Take a pear half and top it with cottage cheese. Peanut butter and bananas are also a good combination.
Fruit platters of grapes, melon, apples, oranges, pineapple, and kiwi will offer each child a choice of their favorite flavors. Provide small paper plates and let them choose their favorites. Mandarin or clementine oranges are small, easy to peel, and very sweet. They're perfect for small hands and are also portable for outdoor dining.
Yogurt is good with or without fruit. Plain vanilla can be mixed with blueberries, raspberries, small pieces of apple, and strawberries. Flavored yogurt can be purchased ready-made.
A small bowl of applesauce, a small box of raisins, dried apples or other dehydrated fruit also provide children with healthy snacks.