Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Healthy Holiday Snack Ideas

You can provide holiday themed snacks without overloading preschool children on sugar.  These ideas even allow the children the learning experience of helping to cook the recipes!

Crescent Roll Ornaments

1 can crescent roll dough
1 small container spreadable cream cheese
1 small container sour cream
Small pieces of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and red (or green or yellow) pepper

Unroll the crescent roll dough and use cookie cutters to cut ornament shapes. Or use the pre-cut triangles as "trees."  Bake the dough at the temperature on the package until light brown.  In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and sour cream.  Once ornaments/trees cool, allow the children to spread the "icing" on their shapes, then top with the vegetables.

Idea borrowed from Perpetual Preschool.

Holiday Snack Mix

A variety of healthy, bite size snack items.  Try whole wheat cereal, whole wheat pretzels or snack crackers, air popped popcorn, nuts, or dried fruit.
A small amount of holiday themed snacks, such as red and green candies, chocolate dipped pretzels, or caramel popcorn.

Let the kids make their own snack mixes as desired, but limit the amount of sugary snacks allowed.  Try providing larger bowls of healthier items and larger scoops in those bowls.  Or tell children they get 5 scoops of these items and one scoop of these items, separating healthy options from the candy.

Idea borrowed from Little Wonders' Days.

Healthy Gingerbread Men

Slices of whole wheat bread
Peanut butter (or spreadable cream cheese)
Raisins or other dried fruit

Give each child a slice of bread, and have children use cookie cutters to make gingerbread man shapes.  Allow children to spread the topping with a plastic knife, then have children decorate their "gingerbread men" using the dried fruit.

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