Healthy snacks are essential for preschoolers.
It is difficult for them to get the nutrients they need from just three meals. Plan snacks as part of the daily menu and use them to help kids meet their nutritional needs.
- Get a customized Daily Food Plan for your preschooler. It shows what and how much your child needs from each food group.
- Or, see sample meals and snacks ideas.
As a general guideline, make snacks that include at least two food groups. For example, pair apple slices with cheese or a mini bagel with peanut butter.
Snack Ideas from Each Food Group
Grains: dry cereal, whole grain crackers, mini rice cakes, sliced bread, mini bagels, graham crackers, whole wheat tortillas
Vegetables: veggie "matchsticks" (thin sticks) made from fresh carrots* or zucchini,* bell pepper rings, cherry tomatoes*, steamed broccoli, green beans, sugar peas, avocados
Fruits: apple slices*, tangerine sections, strawberry halves, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, peach, mango, nectarine, melon, grapes*, berries, dried apricots*
Dairy: low-fat cheese slices or string cheese, mini yogurt cups, fat-free or low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese
Protein Foods: egg slices or wedges, peanut butter*, bean dip, hummus, slices of lean turkey* or chicken*, shelled pumpkin seeds
*If not prepared correctly, these foods could be choking hazards.
More snack ideas that combine two or more of the food groups:
- yogurt topped with diced peaches or berries
- whole grain bread spread with peanut butter and sliced bananas
- graham crackers to dip in yogurt
- a small portion of last night's leftovers (make sure leftovers are safe to eat)