Monday, December 12, 2011

Preschool Snack Mama

I signed up for preschool snack at her drop-off school for the week of her birthday in June. And for the other week I'm responsible for, I chose one in December, so they aren't too close together. The child whose parent brings snack gets to be "snack helper" those days at school (you bring it both class days the week you are responsible for snack.) I also didn't want to make her snack week too close to the start of school, since I didn't want her to feel too 'on-the-spot' before getting more comfortable with the classroom, teachers, and other kids. And January would be no good, since I'd probably forget due to having all my IQs sucked out via my nips a newborn keeping me up all night.

I had several grand ideas, but wanted Z's input, so she would feel connected to and proud of her snack. I chose a gingerbread man theme, since they happened to be doing a gingerbread man unit in class. And, after all, 'man cheese' is how all this blogging fun began! Z, of course, insisted on gingerbread GIRLS too. Overall, she wanted apples and grapes ("Purple ones! Purple!") for the fruit options, Colby Jack cheese and maybe string cheese nibblets, Pirate Booty, and carrots. Well, we already had carrots and string cheese at home, and I thought we had Booty, so we got the apples, grapes, and pre-sliced Colby Jack at Costco, along with a bag of TERRA Sweet Potato chips that she chose while we were browsing for a crunchy snack other than Pirate Booty for the other snack day. (Since I could have sworn we had two large bags of Pirate Booty laying around the house somewhere...)

So for the Tuesday snack, she chose apples (I got the pre-sliced organic ones from Costco,) orange-and-white cheese shapes (I had thought she'd want string cheese nibblets. It's been a while since she's been willing to eat her Colby Jack,) and Pirate's Booty. And despite my trying to talk her out of it, carrots.
I didn't want to bother with carrots because, let's face it. Preschoolers faced with a smorgasbord of fluffy Pirate Booty crunchies, super sweet apples, fun shaped cheese, and carrots aren't really going to touch the carrots. When someone brings baby carrots to our co-op preschool, I don't see a high rate of consumption. I did manage to talk her into carrot flowers, versus carrot sticks, in the hopes that the flowers would be novel enough that the kids would try them.
Naturally, the Pirate Booty was nowhere to be found. Just as I was getting ready to tell her we'd have to settle for the sweet potato chips instead, I found them in a box in the living room, under a bunch of stuff. Of course! Why didn't I think to look there first? Sheesh.

Oh yes. And the drinks. I had totally forgotten about drinks, until double checking the note on the snack tote the night before. Maybe I could send juice pouches? I seem to have an excess for some reason... but no. One can frozen juice concentrate... Doh! We don't really use frozen juice. It has been years since I've even looked at them in the grocery store. I checked the freezer anyway and found a lemonade and limeade with no 'use by' date, and an apple-berry one with an expiration still a month away! Scoooore!

So I used my v-blade down the sides of the carrots and cut them into coins, and my mini Christmas cutters to make gingerbread boys and girls.
Tuesday's Snack:
photo credit
File:Robert's American Gourmet Pirate's Booty.JPG
photo credit
Four carrots' worth of flower coins
14 slices of cheese, 4 people per slice! Half girls, half boys.
I'm not really sure how they serve snack at this school, on account of not having to sit there and watch the whole time. Which is kind of the point of sending her to drop-off school, ne? So I didn't get any pictures of the kids enjoying their snack. But out of the 4 packets of apples (14 slices per packet, or 4 slices per kid,) 10-ounce bag of Booty, 4 carrots' worth of flowers (roughly 10/child) and 56 cheese people (4/child,) I only got back one packet of apples and maybe a third of the bag of Pirate Booty. Not too shabby!
I emailed the teacher with questions for the Thursday snack, since I didn't want to bust a hump doing a bajillion cheese people again if they all ended up getting tossed, or something. She said that the carrots all actually got eaten, but that she'd eaten some herself, since she loves carrots, and the last few got fed to the classroom pet guinea pig. Well, that's okay then. And while there was one stack of cheese people left, Z ended up eating it all. Works for me!

For Thursday's snack, I had planned on using my new FunBites Cube It! cutter to make cheese squares and string cheese nibblets, and offer the kids gingerbread men cupcake picks to make kebabs (and inside-out liners to hold them!) [I cleared the picks with the teachers first. I'm not a total moron!] The picks would also work well with the grapes. Win!
So naturally, it turns out I don't, in fact, have any gingerbread men (tossable) picks. I have regular and mini cupcake liners, but no picks. Bummer! And 10pm the night before isn't exactly the right time to send hubby out to Safeway "but not the Safeway nearby, you have to go to the one further away, since I saw them there for sure... I think." Or at least that was his stance on the request. 
Waaaaah! But I really wanted a gingerbread man theme! I was so not in the mood to carefully make 4 people out of each slice of cheese again, for two reasons. One: I could only fit four per slice if I did it perfectly, and Two: I was getting lightheaded standing there for so long doing it the first time, so I kept having to take sit-breaks. So I found my larger Christmas cutters and just made one cheese person per child. Ahhhh!
No carrots, since I figured the sweet potato chips could count as a veggie AND a crunchy! And as I was plucking the grapes off the stems and washing them... I found a HUGE CHUNK OF MOLD in the middle of the bunches. I really hate buying fresh produce at Costco. It is SO hit and miss! Ages ago we bought a carton of blueberries and some pomegranates, and the blueberries had a knot of mold right in the middle, and two out of 4 pomegranates were filled with mold as well. Nasty! I avoided their produce for a while, but had good luck with the strawberries and raspberries, since I can shake the containers around to see inside better. So I foolishly trusted them for the grapes. Arghhh! I ended up just plucking the good-looking ones from around the sides.
I was too frazzled dealing with the grapes, and completely forgot to take photos. Darnit. 
Got back almost half the bag of sweet potato chips, and some of the grapes, but not too many. Overall I was pleased. Sad that I didn't get to introduce them to fun with food picks, but glad that they at least ate it.


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