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Fun Lowfat Snack Foods for Preschool
- Preschoolers can eat fun and healthy low fat snacks.Fruit snacks image by Stokholm from Fotolia.com
Preschoolers at home, a preschool or in a daycare setting need to eat healthy foods. Snack time is typically at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, or both. In a daycare or school-like setting, healthy meals and snacks are required for young children, as are portion sizes. Fun low-fat snacks will help children develop healthier eating habits. Adults can offer low-fat foods in interesting and unusual ways to entice children to at least try a bite or two.
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
- Preschoolers enjoy making their own snacks. Provide deep-sided cookie cutters in shapes to match a lesson theme, holiday or popular cartoon characters. Give each child two pieces of whole grain bread. Then provide a low-fat filling, such as chicken or turkey slices, low-fat cheese or tuna salad. Have the kids make a sandwich and then use the cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Encourage eating the "scraps" as well as the fun sandwiches.
- Give preschoolers a realistic sense of the "rainbow healthy eating pyramid." First, show a picture of the pyramid to the children. Then, give each child half of a paper plate. On the plates, preschoolers can use colorful foods to make a rainbow. The rainbow colors are: Orange = grains; green = vegetables; red = fruit; blue = milk products (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese); purple = meat, fish, poultry, dried beans, nuts; and yellow = oils. For example, provide oat cereal pieces for grains, diced celery or cold cooked peas for vegetables, apple pieces or cherries for fruit, low-fat shredded cheese for milk products, sunflower seeds for nuts and small drops of cinnamon-flavored margarine for oils. The kids should arrange each food product in a half-circle-shape, working from the top to the bottom of the half-plate. This treat will be larger than a usual snack. Refrigerate and send uneaten portions home on the plate, wrapped securely in plastic wrap.
- Cut peeled bananas in half lengthwise. Let children choose a healthy topping to spread onto the smooth surface of the banana, such as low-fat yogurt or peanut butter. Preschoolers can stick pretzel sticks into the boat for oars and then place graham cracker bears on the boat as the crew.
The Muffin Man
- Provide miniature oat or banana muffins without the paper linings, and give the kids some ketchup cups (like those from restaurants) and pieces of dried fruits. They can place the paper cup upside-down onto the top of the muffin to look like a chef's hat. Then, have the kids push pieces of dried fruits into the side of the muffin to form eyes, nose, ears and mouth. Let the kids make a muffin man to eat and one to take home.
Creative Dips and Dippers
- Encourage preschoolers to taste foods like uncooked broccoli, cauliflower, different colors of pepper strips and cucumber slices. Add some better-known foods like carrots and celery sticks. Preschoolers will be more apt to try these foods with some fun-looking and great-tasting dipping sauces. Try low-fat cheese spreads, different colors of yogurt, peanut butter and even cottage cheese.