15 Easy Snacks to Feed a Preschool Horde

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One of the most surprising things about sending my daughter to preschool was the realization I suddenly needed to provide snacks for her entire class. It’s the culture in her preschool, one I imagine that encourages parent participation and building of a community. There needs to be a fruit or vegetable, carbohydrate and protein. But no nuts. Oh, and some of the kids are vegetarian or have an egg allergy. So while I am all for healthy snacks for preschoolers and sharing responsibility for providing meals, providing allergy-friendly snacks for 25 kids for an entire week seemed initially overwhelming.

Thank goodness for the Internet. I’ve now found several go-to recipes for healthy, allergy-friendly preschool snacks that can feed 25 kids. As a side bonus, my 4-year-old actually helps me prepare the snacks now. Win, win, win.

Preschool Snacks: the Classics

healthy breakfast
courtesy of pixabay
  • Hummus, crackers, carrots. You can be fancy and make your own (my husband’s favorite) or buy it. We usually have 3 10-oz. containers of hummus and 2-3 bags of pita chips for 25 kids.
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese, fruit, crackers. We usually bring 2-3 large containers of plain whole yogurt in which we stirred 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and about 2-3 bags of grapes from the supermarket. Or you can use 1-2 bags clementines for 25 kids.
  • Frozen edamame (cooked according to package directions), grapes/clementines, Hawaiian rolls. We use 2-3 packs of the King’s Hawaiian because they go quickly. I’d use 2 bags frozen edamame as well for 25 kids.
  • Bagels with cream cheese or sunflower seed butter. Add in cottage cheese and some fruit. Cut bagels if you can into 3-4 pieces each.

5-Minute Preschool Snacks to Feed the Masses

  • Hawaiian bread sandwiches, fruit or carrots/red pepper sticks. Cut a package of King’s Hawaiian rolls in half. Layer with either turkey and cheese or sunflower seed butter and sliced fruit(apples, strawberries, bananas work great). Cut sandwiches into 12. For vegetarian kids, use only cheese or sunflower seed butter/fruit combo.
  • Quick edamame dip, store-bought crostini, and fruit of your choice. I love this recipe for an easy allergy-friendly edamame dip from the New York Times. It’s faster if you buy the pre-shelled frozen edamame like they sell at Trader Joe’s.
  • Chia pudding, extra fruit, store-bought crostini or breadsticks. I like to mix one can of coconut milk with one container of vanilla yogurt in a blender with 1/4 cup of chia seeds. You can add fruit into the blender as well. For 25 kids, I triple the recipe (they love it, especially from the blender because the seeds get smaller).
  • Frozen yogurt bark (only if your preschool has a freezer available), popcorn. I love this recipe from the American Heart Association.
  • Roll ups. Take pimento cheese (or make it), mix with shredded carrots. Spread onto tortillas, add deli turkey or ham if desired. Roll up the tortilla and cut into slices. Another great combo is turkey and matchsticks apples. One tortilla feeds about 3 kids for snack.

Fancy Preschool Snacks if You Have a Decent Amount of Time

  • Homemade Harvest Muffins. I like this recipe from Cookies and Kate. I sometimes swap out all the carrot for some grated zucchini, and I don’t normally use coconut oil.
  • Nut-Free granola bars. I have used this recipe from Super Healthy Kids with good success, sometimes I add dried fruit.
  • Baked oatmeal. I love this Healthy version from Live Well, Bake Often. Sometimes if there is an egg allergy I’ll use a flax egg instead. I’d recommend tripling the recipe to feed 25 kids–it’s so good it goes quickly.
  • Mini veggie pot pies. Make an easy Veggie pot pie filling (I always add beans or edamame or lentils for some extra protein). Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Cut out circles of store bought pie crust. Put one circle in each muffin cup. Add pot pie filling, then top with another circle of pie dough and crimp the edges. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Mini sausage rolls. Wrap hot dogs or chicken sausage with a slice of apple. Use store bought pie crust, crescent rolls or puff pastry to wrap. Bake at 400 degrees until pie crust is brown and crunchy. Let cool slightly then cut each roll into 3 or 4 pieces. This can be an expensive one as kids LOVE this (especially with ketchup or ranch dip), so plan 2-3 pieces per kid.
  • Sesame noodles, add in matchstick carrots and bell peppers. I like This recipe from Food Network. I usually double the recipe for 25 kids, because it’s a snack size portion. You can also add some shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken.

What are your favorite preschool snacks?

Feeding a large crowd of small hungry kids seemed pretty daunting at first, but we have made it work. What are your favorite snacks for preschoolers? Let me know in the comments!

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