It’s important for children to have access to healthy snacks. As their minds and bodies develop, they need plenty of nutrients and vitamins, and while supplements are a great idea, nothing can replace a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies. However, when you send your child to daycare, it can be difficult to send them off with healthy food. The snacks that are easiest to prepare and package tend to be processed foods, high in sugar and salt. While these are fine in moderation, it’s a good idea to add healthier snacks to your child’s daycare lunchbox. Need some ideas? We’ve got you!
Why Healthy Snacks Are Important
Not everyone loves the idea of snacking, preferring to stick to three solid meals a day with nothing in between, but healthy snacks are very good for children. Having snacks on hand prevents children from becoming cranky or losing energy too early in the day. Having access to healthy snacks, with fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, is especially beneficial for staving off hunger and giving your child an energy boost, and providing healthy, essential vitamins.
What Are Good Snacks for Daycare?
- Fruit: Easy-to-eat fruit like bananas, berries, and apple or orange slices are ideal for daycare as they are delicious, nutritious, and simple.
- Veggies: Vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers are easy to slice and pack, and they’re an amazing source of essential vitamins that your child needs to grow and learn.
- Cheese: While cheese may not seem like the healthiest snack, in moderation, it’s an excellent source of protein and calcium. It also pairs very well with whole-grain crackers, which is another excellent choice.
- Yogurt: Some yogurts contain a lot of added sugar, so you have to be careful about which ones you buy if you are looking for a low-sugar snack. Yogurt has good calcium and probiotics, and it’s quite filling. Yogurt also often comes in convenient, easy-to-open pouches, making it a good choice for daycare.
- Healthy Trail Mix: Trail mix, especially a healthy homemade version, is a good choice for a daycare snack. Try making one with nuts, seeds, raisins, popcorn, and/or dark chocolate.
- Ants on a Log: This classic snack of peanut butter and raisins on top of a slice of celery is a great healthy snack for young children with a fun presentation.
- Smoothies: Make a smoothie using fruits and milk or yogurt for a healthy, filling snack. You can even sneak some spinach in there without your little one noticing!
How Do You Pack Snacks for Daycare?
Kids’ Corner provides children attending our schools with a nutritious and well-balanced breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. Our menus and food offerings have been approved by the Arizona Department of Education and have been certified to meet USDA requirements.
However, if you’d like to send additional food with your children, please keep the following recommendations in mind. When you pack snacks for daycare, make sure you remember to put in ice packs (or a frozen water bottle) if you’ve included something that needs to be kept cold, like yogurt. You should also make sure that everything not packaged is placed into a sealed container, like a Tupperware box or plastic baggie. Including some napkins is a good idea, too!
It’s also a good idea to write your child’s name on the bag or box you are packing, just so no one mistakes theirs for another child’s.
We hope this blog has given you some good ideas for healthy, delicious snacks that will give your child the energy and nutrients needed to have a good day and grow up strong! If you have any more questions, feel free to call us at (480)-267-9419 for our Mesa location, or (480)-267-9427 for our Gilbert location.