We started preschool mid-year. Well, my daughter did, but I might as well have started too. I had so much to learn…along the lines of snack preparation.
Being stringently gluten-free and mildly dairy-free, we often snack on nuts as an alternative to traditional snacks.
Almonds, peanuts, raw brazil nuts, and cashews–any of these nuts combined with raisins fill our snack baggies often. Of course, a favorite is almond butter on apple slices. Larabars tend to be our easy, already-packaged snack. Simply one of our favorite snacks and the quickest, easiest one to pack.
So, to my surprise, I see a “No Nut” sign as we enter the preschool building. It was then that my wheels started turning. I had to learn a new approach to snacks and packing them.
First of all, I bought small plastic containers with an attached lid at Office Depot (of all places). These were in the lunch box section. They snap closed and are easy for little fingers. I bought three to rotate and wash throughout the week.
I had fun figuring out what to fill these handy containers with. Here is a list of gluten free, occasionally dairy-free snacks, I came up with for my daughter. (Some of these we already ate as snacks at home and others are new, I just had to learn what to pack instead of being so used to grabbing mini-Larabars):
Carrot sticks and hummus
Cuties (perfect for little tummies)
Grapes (and any easy fruit like berries)
Cheese sticks (I had to find some other source of protein. We have these occasionally and she LOVES them. She feels so grown up eating them 🙂
Rice or corn Chex
Raisins, dried apples, or craisins
Sweet potato sticks as featured in my previous post: https://mishmashmusing.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/the-best-snack/
Kale chips (homemade)
My daughter’s favorite snacks are a Cutie with a cheese stick or sweet potato sticks with grapes or raisins.
This preschool snack challenge was excellent: we found new snacks and a new way to pack them. It made me more intentional in finding variety for my daughter, and…myself. Challenges are good. They keep us on our toes, and, if we choose, can make things better.