Providing a snack for your child and his or her class is a big job that we ask you parents to help us with at Open Door Preschool. Understanding that all families have different food experiences and taking into account what the State of Minnesota requires of us as an Educational Facility, we have tried to simplify the snack suggestions made by the state. We aim for snacks to be as nutritious and easy to distribute as possible and at the same time meeting the requirements of being from at least two nutrition groups.

Please keep in mind, to comply with Minnesota State guidelines:

  • Snacks must be commercially packaged.
  • Snacks may not be prepared in your home.
  • You may not provide a snack that has been altered by you in your home.
  • If you’d like to see a full explanation of the state’s requirements for snacks, the links to the Minnesota Department of Education Ideas are provided below.

If it’s your day to provide snack, and you’d like to know the simplest way to meet the nutrition guidelines, our staff would suggest you help your child choose either milk or 100% fruit juice for a drink (at least 4oz per child) and a snack from this great list!

Animal crackers
Bagels-mini sized and pre-sliced
Cereal Bars
Cookies- plain, w/nuts, raisins, chocolate pieces or fruit purees
Graham Crackers
Granola Bar- plain, w/fruit, nuts, raisins or chocolate
Goldfish Crackers
Muffins- store bought only, please
Oyster Crackers
Pretzels- hard or soft
Rice Cakes
Ritz Cracker
Soda Cracker
Tortilla Chips
Wheat Thins
Apple Cider- must be 100% juice
Apples- small sized, providing one for each child please
Cantaloupe- pre-sliced by the store only please
Carrot Sticks- prepackaged only
Cheese- pre-sliced or cubed and commercially prepared only please
Nuts***(you will be notified if your child’s classmates have nut allergies to avoid for safety reasons)
Yogurt- single serving cups only, one for each child please

Our extended day arrangement provides a place for your child to continue his school day, under the care of our staff but requires that parents provide a lunch to be consumed by their child, each day that they are in our care. Because we are an Educational Facility, lunches consumed by children in our facility must meet certain nutritional requirements established by the State of Minnesota Department of Education. Links to a full explanation of the meal pattern requirements directed by the State of Minnesota is available below.

There are certain components of a home prepared lunch that must be included in order for the lunch to follow the state’s guidelines. Though we understand that all children have different likes and dislikes and each family has their own eating style, we are a school, and your child’s lunch must follow the rules for a school if their lunch will be eaten at school. Each day you provide lunch, this lunch must include milk, a protein, a fruit and/or vegetable and some type of grain. If the lunch does not include all of the required elements, Open Door Preschool is required BY LAW to provide these items. A fee will be added to your child’s tuition balance to cover the replacement of any food items Open Door is obligated to provide. The actual amount of this fee has not yet been determined, but expect that it will be high to deter the tendency for parents to just plan on Open Door providing a lunch for their child.

I have to make a lunch for my child and I want to follow the rules. What should I pack?

You must include:

  1. Milk- at least ¾ cup. Skim, nonfat, low fat, whole, lactose free, flavored or unflavored milks all may be served.
  2. A Protein- 1 ½ oz of meat, poultry or fish. Cheeses, or cottage cheese in 1 ½ oz servings. Eggs. Yogurt in 6oz. or ¾ cup servings. ***Peanut or other nut butters including soynut, sunflower and almond butters in 3 tablespoon servings. ***You will be notified if there are any allergy concerns for your child’s classmates.
  3. Vegetables and/or Fruits- to include all fruits and vegetables or 100% juices in 1/2 cup total servings.
  4. A Grain or Bread- including saltines and other snack crackers in .7 oz servings, white/wheat/whole wheat breads in ½ oz servings and dry cereal in ¾ cup or 1 oz servings.

Minnesota Department of Education Snack Guidelines:

MN Dept of Education Nutrition Requirements

Snack Menu Ideas