Karen Frost

FAMILY: Finding safe preschool snacks can be a tough nut to crack

Healthy, flavourful options are out there for kids who can eat anything

With preschool classes starting up, parents once again have to choose their children’s snacks carefully to comply with the varying food restrictions at schools and care centres.

West Shore Parks and Recreation, like most facilities, has been ‘nut aware’ for a number of years with the uprising of serious peanut and other nut allergies.

“Most of our classes are ‘nut aware,’” says Karen Frost, recreation co-ordinator for the centre. “And all of our kids have a medical form, so if one child does have a severe allergy, we send home letters to all the parents to let them know what they can bring.”

Frost suggests fruit, crackers and cheese or yogurt for quick and healthy snacks parents can put together. “We don’t want any candy, high sugar content, chocolate, gum, any of that sort of thing.”

For other facilities, restrictions can be more stringent, such as at the parent-run Oak Bay Preschool.

“We are dairy, egg, gluten and nut free,” says Julita Traylen, who has a four-year-old daughter at the preschool.

The centre has several children with severe or anaphylactic allergies, and the strict food policy gives parents peace of mind that there’s no chance of an allergen popping up in the classroom.

But while those restrictions may ease parents who have to constantly check for allergens, those whose kids can eat anything often have a hard time thinking of healthy and quick alternatives to granola bars, peanut butter sandwiches and cheese and crackers.

“It’s tough for parents who don’t live with (severe allergies) every day,” adds Traylen.

Chopped up fruits and veggies, dried apple or banana chips, hummus, rice crackers and bean and lentil dips are all quick and easy options for school time snacks, she suggests.

“I personally bake vegan muffins and cookies with lots of seeds and oats and dried fruit. That’s our go-to snack.”

Wherever parents decide to send their kids for preschool and care, it’s a good idea to learn what food restrictions are in place and why before packing up the day’s snacks. There could be a life-threatening allergy in the classroom.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Big Brothers Big Sisters seek mentors for kids who need a guiding light

September marks National Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Month

Former employee at B.C.’s oldest bakery says staff got no notice of closure

Willie’s Bakery staffer didn’t receive any severance

Woman arrested as Saanich Police tape off Hwy 17 tent city

Province of B.C. calls in local police to clear campers

Lawyer for Victoria homeless camp questions offer by Saanich Police

John Heaney says breaking up camp puts people at risk because it seperates them from support

Saanich homeless camp residents at a standstill, evicted, prohibited from local parks

‘Ultimate goal is to get people into shelters and longer-term housing,’ Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

Most Read