Good nutrition is a vital part of introducing your child to a healthy lifestyle.
Since healthy eating habits are established early in life, it is important to introduce young children to nutrition and healthy foods at snack times as well as at family meals. At Cave Creek Montessori our standards include the following guidelines for snacks provided by parents for their child’s class.
The snacks that children get accustomed to eating at school are also part of the patterns for nutrition your child will follow for the rest of their life. An occasional dessert is fine once in awhile but should not be the norm or the replacement of a healthy snack. Rather it should be a small portion introduced as a “treat” complimenting a meal or a special occasion.
We strongly recommend when it is your child’s day to bring in snacks for the class a healthy snack is provided. We recognize preschoolers are frequently picky eaters and can be very vocal about their preferences. These occurances can become power plays that a parent should quickly recognize and avoid. In these situations we recommend keeping a list of wholesome snacks from which your child can choose.
Preschool-age children should be eating nutritional foods that include fresh vegetables & fruits; nonfat or low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese (we recommend organic milk); lean meats such as chicken, turkey, fish, and lean hamburger; whole-grain cereals and bread. As mentioned we strongly recommend parents provide organic low-fat milk for the class. Additionally, portion sizes for these ages should be less than adult size portions.
Easy examples of snacks that have proved popular with the kids as well as rating high in nutritional value include:
*Various bite-size veggies such as cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli or cauliflower flowerets served with a humus or yogurt dip
*Fresh fruit such as sectioned apples or oranges, cherries and of course bite-size squares of watermelon in summertime. Feta cheese is always a great compliment!
*Whole grain crackers or whole-grain bread served with cream cheese or cheese squares
For other healthy snack ideas Google provides numerous sites for organic snacks as well as pre-school snack recipes (see meatball recipe below). We recognize parents with young children have very busy schedules and we appreciate the extra time and effort required in the preparation of any wholesome snack. Please check with your child’s teacher if we can be of assistance on healthy snack options.
Baked Turkey Quinoa Meatballs
These meatballs are packed full of delicious quinoa, spinach, red onion and turkey. They can be made in under five minutes and baked in just under 30 minutes. You’re not going to believe how much flavor and nutrition they pack.
Baked turkey quinoa meatballs Yield about 50 bite–sized meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1/3 cup chopped spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer add ground turkey, quinoa, spinach, red onion, garlic, Sriracha, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, panko breadcrumbs and egg. Mix on low till combined.
- Roll into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls and add to prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes until firm and cooked throughout.