As a parent to a preschooler, you probably know that snack time is an important part of your every day. We all require healthy foods to fuel us, but young children especially rely on snack time to feed their growing brains, helping them to explore and create more readily.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children grow and learn by examining the world with their senses. What better place to use all your senses than in the kitchen? The act of prepping and cooking helps young children learn and practice basic concepts like math and language skills. Naming, describing, counting, and measuring ingredients are all easy ways to incorporate some learning into your snack time.
This summer, as your child is home with you more often than they are during the school year, you may find yourself running out of snack ideas. We have created a list of beloved snacks that your preschooler can make with you, getting them in on the food preparation process and giving them some control in their eating. Assembling meals as a family can help your preschooler build their self-confidence and create healthy eating habits.
There are a few tasks in the kitchen that are particularly well-suited to preschool-level children. Ask your preschooler to help you knead the dough for a pizza, later topping it with their choice. Have them help you tear lettuce for a salad or stir batter for a cake. Your child can even help you read from your cookbook by flipping pages for you.
Here are a few recipes you can try with your preschooler this summer:
There are countless ways to make a smoothie, incorporating your child’s favorite fruit, juice, milk, or other treats. Smoothies are often a favorite among young children and parents alike because they are healthy, quick, easy to eat, and always tasty. Even the pickiest of eaters love a smoothie as a snack!
You don’t have to order out to bring the savory goodness of pizza into your kitchen for snack time. You and your preschooler can enjoy the classic bite-sized mini pizza, using English muffins or making your own dough. Pizza building is a fun and hands-on experience for preschoolers, with a rewarding treat at the end!
Trail mix is one of the most simple and diverse snacks of the bunch since you can tailor it to your preschooler’s likes, dislikes, and food sensitivities. This snack is a crowd favorite because it is quick and easy to take on the go, whether you are going on a long car ride or just to the park. Add dried fruits, chocolate, or even marshmallows! Whatever you and your child prefer.
Like trail mix, a yogurt parfait is a healthy, fast, and delicious snack option for young children. Your preschooler can join in on the preparation, scooping their yogurt and finishing the snack off with their pick of toppings, from granola and graham crackers to fresh fruit or apple sauce.
Ants on a Log
A snack as old as time, you probably had ants on a log when you were a preschooler, too! There are a couple of ways you can enjoy this snack with your child, either opting for peanut butter or cream cheese as the filling or trying something new entirely. Share this classic snack with your little ones this summer, having them stuff the celery and count out how many ants they want on their log.
While snack making with your preschooler may take some prep work, patience, and flexibility on your part, time in the kitchen with your child can be an activity you both enjoy this summer.
Montessori Children’s Center applies the educational philosophy and methods of Maria Montessori, M.D., a renowned Italian physician, and child educator. Our teaching method is based on the belief that each child is born into this world full of potential. We aim to help your child reach their greatest potential. Visit our blog to learn more about our method or reach out today to begin your journey with Montessori Children’s Center.