For many children, snack time is one of the most exciting times of the day. If it is done right, you can make snack time enjoyable while also providing children with snacks that are nutritious.
Why healthy snacks are important
When children are in childcare, they are at a stage in life where their minds and bodies are developing quickly. If a child is to live up to their full developmental potential, they need the right nutrients throughout the day. When a child is not provided with a healthy diet, it has potential to set them back- both physically and mentally.
At a childcare center, snack time plays an important role in the daily schedule. Children need a break to eat so they can refuel and introduce more of the necessary nutrition to their bodies. Children not receiving proper nutrition may get cranky or tired. Additionally, proper nutrition can have an impact on their ability to learn and play.
For a childcare center, offering healthy snacks is more important than ever. Children spend much of their day in the care of the facility, so they likely have at least one meal and a snack at the center. If they are not eating well when they are in the care of the facility, it could have a long-term impact on their health.
As an additional point, young children are still developing the eating habits that they will have for the rest of their lives. Once these habits are set, they will be hard to change. If children were to experience poor eating habits in childcare, it could have a significant influence on the way they eat for their rest of their lives. USDA guidelines must always be followed when planning menus- for meals and snacks.
Parents trust childcare centers to take care of their children. That means more than just providing a safe place for a child to spend the day. Along with a safe, healthy environment, it’s important to provide healthy food choices.
If you are looking for some healthy snacks to feed the children in your care, the following are some options that are quick, easy and healthy:
- Fruits or fruits such as apples and Sunbutter
- Veggies and dip
- Whole grain cereal (low sugar)
- Cheeses or Crackers and cheese
- Yogurt (low sugar)
- Cottage cheese
- Bagels and cream cheese