Sunday, September 23, 2012

All-Natural Preschool Snacks, September 2012 Week 3

Monday, 9/17 - Thursday, 9/20 2012
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Green beans and carrot flowers, TJ's White Cheddar Popcorn, apples, strawberries
Since we're needing more snack boxes now (because I like having a variety of shapes and sizes... and I don't do dishes every day!) and soon Baby E will need little toddler-sized bentos, I went ahead and bought a Mom Invented Good Bites sandwich box to try. It's too small for a Z-sized lunch, unless I drew a blueprint first for fitting all the food in there! But perfect for a bulky popcorn snack and some fresh fruits and veggies!

As for the box itself, it was easy for me to open and close, but I haven't tested Z on it yet. I'm less concerned about her being able to do it herself, since one of her two teachers can easily just pop her box open, since the snack for everyone else is communal, so they aren't opening 18 kids' worth of individual packages. baggies, and boxes. Do not get me started on the "post-it note" sticker they had stuck on the lid, though. I'm still steamed over how hard that was to peel off... which didn't end up happening as I gave up after 10  minutes of chipping away at it, molecule by molecule.

As part of their "weather unit" at school the teacher planned to have them make s'mores using the sun to melt the chocolate. Since all the grocery store graham cracker brands have artificial preservatives, Hershey's chocolate has artificial vanilla, and marshmallow creme/fluff has fake colors and flavors, I had to get her safe alternatives for everything. (The teacher had offered to buy a safe brand at the store, but I couldn't find any likely-to-find-at-regular-stores safe alternatives for anything but the chocolate, and I didn't want to make her buy a $3 chocolate bar just for Z.)
TJ's graham crackers and chocolate bar, home-made marshmallow fluff
Luckily Trader Joe's had safe versions of both the graham crackers and simple chocolate bars (I needed less-gourmet ones, since the extra fillers help them melt at lower temperatures.) We had to make our own marshmallow creme. I chose a Marshmallow Fluff recipe from the MOMables blog. And had Hubby make it. I cannot be trusted to cook sugar on a stovetop. Unless you enjoy throwing out pans.

The fluff tasted more like frothy honey, since I buy local raw honey (which helps with our seasonal allergies to the local pollens and such) which has a very strong flavor. I don't particularly love marshmallows anyway, so was not a fan, but Z was!
When we arrived at school that day, we were running late as usual, so Baby E and I had to walk her into class instead of them coming to escort her out of the car. The teacher tried to lure her in by saying "Today we're going to use the weather to cook!" The other kids had a slightly different slant on the planned activity... "We get to eat marshmallows! And chocolate!"

The ride home was filled with a play-by-play synopsis of how much she loved her s'mores, and how she only ate the safe "cwackers an' chocolate an' marshmallow spwead" that I had brought for her. "Those were safe, right? Mrs. Wiley said you brought them for me." I hadn't assured her in advance that they would be safe, or even that I was bringing them, since the teacher wasn't sure which day she'd be doing the activity, because it was weather-dependent, and I didn't want Z to be upset that she couldn't have them yet. I just brought everything in on the first day of the Weather Unit, so they'd be available as needed. Good thing too, since the weather was apparently perfect that day! And I'm glad she trusted her teacher enough to eat them. Not that I think she would have turned them down if they hadn't been safe!

Tuesday:  Many Bunnies
Annie's Pizza Snack Mix, edamame, strawberries and golden raspberries, Sunbutter and Fluff sammies
The Hello Kitty box came from the Sanrio store. It has a fork and spoon in the lid, which she didn't need for this snack. But the box was too cute not to use it, and the perfect size for what I wanted to pack! 

I wanted to try her out on the Annie's Homegrown Bunnies Organic Pizza Snack Mix, since I had found it on clearance at Target for her, but had ended up just shoveling it into my own gob so far.
To keep with the bunny theme, I used a mini bunny cutter to make "Fluffer Butter" sandwiches out of our whole wheat bread, SunButter, and leftover homemade marshmallow fluff. We have a LOT of the leftover fluff. Two 16-ounce jars (minus the little bit she used at school on Monday) plus a ziplock baggie. 

To separate all the snack elements, I used my Glitterville silicone cups. They were more expensive than other brands, but such cheerful, vibrant colors. It makes me happy to look at them, and I don't regret the splurge!

Apples, carrots, seasoned Kale Chips
I got the Rilakkuma box from Jenn at Bento For Kidlet. Kidlet has outgrown it, so we found it a good home! Squeee!

Earth's Best Cheddar Crunchin' Crackers, apples, edamame
Round snack box from Target's Dollar Spot, and tall silicone muffin cup from IKEA.



  1. WOw, I can't believe you made marshmallow creme. I'm going to try that sometime, to make fake rice crispy treats or something. I know your husband actually made it, but you know what I mean. Was it impossible?

  2. yourfriendrobin, it would have been impossible for ME. I don't have the patience to stir something on the stove constantly. And I'm never any good at judgment calls, like "whip until peaks form" or "blah blah blah until you reach a full boil." I don't know what those events LOOK like. Are these peaks? These? Maybe now? Who knows.


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