Whether you are packing a snack for your child’s daycare group or are watching a daycare full of kids yourself, you can put together a snack that will be healthy and sustaining for everyone. Although the kids would love a sweet junk food snack, teachers and volunteers would probably appreciate a low-sugar snack that will fill kids without spinning them up.
Many protein-packed foods are perfect for daycare snacks. Their salty flavors make them a delicious option, while their energy sustaining nature makes them healthy for everyone. Nuts are a great, tasty source of protein, but are dangerous for those who are allergic to nuts. Only serve nuts to groups you have verified to have no allergy problems. Cheese and meat are other popular options. Chop cheddar or mozzarella cheeses and ham into cubes. Give each child a handful of each and serve with a toothpick so they can pick at each. Serve little oyster or fish crackers along side. You can also cut small rolls in half and make mini sandwiches or make full sandwiches and cut them into small squares. Lay out a tortilla or flattened piece of bread and stack cheeses and meats on top. Roll them into a log, and slice them into circles.
If the kids are craving something sweet, hand out a satisfying snack, without putting them all into a sugar coma. Slice bananas, apples, pears, oranges and other favorites into a bowl to create a fruit salad. This is also a great way to expose the kids to new and exotic fruits. Try mangoes, papayas, kiwis, pineapples and figs. You can do the same with dehydrated or dried fruits. You can find apple chips, banana chips and a variety of dried berries. Serve each child a spoonful of the treat. Make some whole wheat waffles, and cut them into small squares or circles. Top them with a selection of chopped berries. Bake some whole wheat muffins and make them especially cute in a mini muffin pan.
If you are looking for healthy alternatives to chips and other crunchy options at the daycare, try pretzels. You can serve these with a dressing or peanut butter for dipping, provided there are no allergies to contend with. Popcorn is a great crunchy, salty snack, but this snack is best for daycares of older children, as it can be a choking hazard. Slice celery, carrots, cucumbers and other fresh veggies that will crunch with each bite.