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March 3, 2017

Special Springtime Snacks for National Nutrition Month

By Amanda Nehring
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    With springtime quickly approaching (thank goodness!), it’s time again for National Nutrition Month. In the five years since First Lady Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” healthy kids initiative I’ve seen students become much more willing to embrace fresh foods and healthier snacks. So, let’s keep that health ball rolling and celebrate spring with some adorable snacks that are sure to be a hit in your classroom and your home. As is always the case with food in schools, please make sure that you are aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies your students may have before serving any of the following treats.

    String Cheese Butterflies

    Nothing says springtime like butterflies and nothing is as entertaining for youngsters as pulling apart pieces of string cheese, so why not combine the two for a fun food break in your classroom? Give each student a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and some traditionally-shaped pretzels. Have the students take their pretzels and press them into the sides of the cheese stick to create wings for their butterfly. They can even pull off a section of string cheese to make little antenna atop their butterflies to complete this buggy treat. Before students chow down, talk about the parts of a butterfly’s body and locate them on your edible versions. When everyone has finished eating, try out this free Migrating Monarch project from Scholastic Printables.

     

     

    Ants on a Log

    Ants on a log was the only way my parents could get me to eat celery as a child and it is still a favorite treat for students today. Yes, peanut butter is a big no-no in classrooms due to allergies, but products like SunButter or other allergy-friendly alternatives make it possible to introduce this time-tested snack to your students. To prepare ants on a log you need stalks of celery, washed and cut into four- to five-inch sections. Fill the inside cavity with peanut butter (or peanut butter alternative) and top with raisins. While your students are devouring their line of ants you can sing a rendition of “The Ants Go Marching” or take the opportunity to learn about the little insects by reading one of the following books:

    ·       Science Vocabulary Readers: Fantastic Ants by Elizabeth Bennett

    ·       Discovering My World: Ants by Melvin Berger

    ·       Scholastic News Nonfiction Readers - Ants and Other Insects by Mary Shulte

    Cucumber Sandwiches

    These tiny cucumber sandwiches are an adorably healthy way to feed your students from multiple food groups. With cucumbers and lettuce representing the vegetable group, tomato from the fruit group, pepperoni as your meat, and some dairy-filled cheese, students will be able to savor a well-balanced snack. On top of being tasty and nutritious, these pint-sized petit fours are loads of fun and reminiscent of tea party treats. To get in the spirit you can have a pretend tea party as you relish the finger sandwiches and practice identifying the digraph ea with this free worksheet.

     

    Cat in the Hat Fruit Pops

    March means Dr. Seuss month as we celebrate his birthday and Read Across America Day. As your students sit back and read with their favorite Dr. Seuss book they can also enjoy a healthy helping of fruit with these Cat in the Hat fruit pops. Just slice up some strawberries and bananas, slide them onto wooden skewers and watch your students’ faces light up for a Seusstastic snack!

     

    Almond Mouse Cheese and Crackers

    Cheese and crackers are a classic snack made so much more enjoyable by the addition of an almond mouse. Once again you will have to be conscious of allergies in your classroom before sharing this nutty treat. Presuming almonds are okay, your students will squeak for these adorable mice. To make almond mice crackers, simply top your cracker with a slice of cheese, a single whole almond, two small cheese triangle ears, and a string cheese tail. I love sharing this snack with my students when I introduce them to the tale of the country mouse and the city mouse. Scholastic Printables has a free mini-book and worksheet you can download to practice sequencing the story, or you can check out one of the following print versions of the famous fable:

    ·       City Mouse-Country Mouse by John Wallner

    ·       Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Jan Brett

    ·       Little Tales: The Country Mouse and the City Mouse by Ann Iosa

     

    Mini Tortilla Pizzas

    For my final springtime snack, I have to share what is sure to be a student favorite — mini English muffin pizzas! It seems that every time I ask my students to name their favorite food pizza is the majority winner. Instead of ordering in a greasy delivery version, you can make these healthier alternatives in-room with a small toaster oven.

    Give each student half of an English muffin to top with tomato sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese. You can even encourage them to add additional toppings like veggies or all-natural pepperoni for some pizza personalization. After a few short minutes in the toaster oven, the mini pizzas will be ready to devour.

    To extend your pizza party into the realm of academia, download these free Scholastic Printable resources. The first is a sequential writing activity called My Pizza Recipe! where students share the steps to making their pizzas and the second, Pizza Chef!, is a cute paper holder that students can decorate to display their recipe writing.

     

     

    If you still haven’t had your fill of healthy springtime snacks, check out Scholastic’s Read, Snack & Learn with Favorite Picture Books for even more tasty treats to accompany stories and activities in your classroom. As always, please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments section below. Happy snacking!

     

    With springtime quickly approaching (thank goodness!), it’s time again for National Nutrition Month. In the five years since First Lady Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” healthy kids initiative I’ve seen students become much more willing to embrace fresh foods and healthier snacks. So, let’s keep that health ball rolling and celebrate spring with some adorable snacks that are sure to be a hit in your classroom and your home. As is always the case with food in schools, please make sure that you are aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies your students may have before serving any of the following treats.

    String Cheese Butterflies

    Nothing says springtime like butterflies and nothing is as entertaining for youngsters as pulling apart pieces of string cheese, so why not combine the two for a fun food break in your classroom? Give each student a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and some traditionally-shaped pretzels. Have the students take their pretzels and press them into the sides of the cheese stick to create wings for their butterfly. They can even pull off a section of string cheese to make little antenna atop their butterflies to complete this buggy treat. Before students chow down, talk about the parts of a butterfly’s body and locate them on your edible versions. When everyone has finished eating, try out this free Migrating Monarch project from Scholastic Printables.

     

     

    Ants on a Log

    Ants on a log was the only way my parents could get me to eat celery as a child and it is still a favorite treat for students today. Yes, peanut butter is a big no-no in classrooms due to allergies, but products like SunButter or other allergy-friendly alternatives make it possible to introduce this time-tested snack to your students. To prepare ants on a log you need stalks of celery, washed and cut into four- to five-inch sections. Fill the inside cavity with peanut butter (or peanut butter alternative) and top with raisins. While your students are devouring their line of ants you can sing a rendition of “The Ants Go Marching” or take the opportunity to learn about the little insects by reading one of the following books:

    ·       Science Vocabulary Readers: Fantastic Ants by Elizabeth Bennett

    ·       Discovering My World: Ants by Melvin Berger

    ·       Scholastic News Nonfiction Readers - Ants and Other Insects by Mary Shulte

    Cucumber Sandwiches

    These tiny cucumber sandwiches are an adorably healthy way to feed your students from multiple food groups. With cucumbers and lettuce representing the vegetable group, tomato from the fruit group, pepperoni as your meat, and some dairy-filled cheese, students will be able to savor a well-balanced snack. On top of being tasty and nutritious, these pint-sized petit fours are loads of fun and reminiscent of tea party treats. To get in the spirit you can have a pretend tea party as you relish the finger sandwiches and practice identifying the digraph ea with this free worksheet.

     

    Cat in the Hat Fruit Pops

    March means Dr. Seuss month as we celebrate his birthday and Read Across America Day. As your students sit back and read with their favorite Dr. Seuss book they can also enjoy a healthy helping of fruit with these Cat in the Hat fruit pops. Just slice up some strawberries and bananas, slide them onto wooden skewers and watch your students’ faces light up for a Seusstastic snack!

     

    Almond Mouse Cheese and Crackers

    Cheese and crackers are a classic snack made so much more enjoyable by the addition of an almond mouse. Once again you will have to be conscious of allergies in your classroom before sharing this nutty treat. Presuming almonds are okay, your students will squeak for these adorable mice. To make almond mice crackers, simply top your cracker with a slice of cheese, a single whole almond, two small cheese triangle ears, and a string cheese tail. I love sharing this snack with my students when I introduce them to the tale of the country mouse and the city mouse. Scholastic Printables has a free mini-book and worksheet you can download to practice sequencing the story, or you can check out one of the following print versions of the famous fable:

    ·       City Mouse-Country Mouse by John Wallner

    ·       Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Jan Brett

    ·       Little Tales: The Country Mouse and the City Mouse by Ann Iosa

     

    Mini Tortilla Pizzas

    For my final springtime snack, I have to share what is sure to be a student favorite — mini English muffin pizzas! It seems that every time I ask my students to name their favorite food pizza is the majority winner. Instead of ordering in a greasy delivery version, you can make these healthier alternatives in-room with a small toaster oven.

    Give each student half of an English muffin to top with tomato sauce and low-fat mozzarella cheese. You can even encourage them to add additional toppings like veggies or all-natural pepperoni for some pizza personalization. After a few short minutes in the toaster oven, the mini pizzas will be ready to devour.

    To extend your pizza party into the realm of academia, download these free Scholastic Printable resources. The first is a sequential writing activity called My Pizza Recipe! where students share the steps to making their pizzas and the second, Pizza Chef!, is a cute paper holder that students can decorate to display their recipe writing.

     

     

    If you still haven’t had your fill of healthy springtime snacks, check out Scholastic’s Read, Snack & Learn with Favorite Picture Books for even more tasty treats to accompany stories and activities in your classroom. As always, please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments section below. Happy snacking!

     

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