Snacks, drinks and vegetarian ideas for preschoolers

Snacks, drinks and vegetarian ideas for preschoolers

Be sure to serve snacks that have a high nutritional value and aren’t just junk food; full of empty calories, sugar and salt.

Suggestions for snacks include:

  • Freshly cut fruit and vegetables – or you could grate carrots and apples
  • Slices of cheese
  • Plain savoury biscuits with a little spread such as peanut butter or cream cheese
  • Fingers of wholemeal toast with vegemite
  • Home-made iceblocks
  • fruit smoothies
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Yoghurt – fruit, or plain with a little brown sugar sprinkled over
  • Home made biscuits


  • Always offer water first – it’s the best way to quench a thirst.
  • Always keep water handy so your child can get a drink whenever she wants to.
  • Make sure that she sees you enjoying a drink of water.
  • Dilute all juices with water to cut the sugar content.
  • Avoid serving cordial or fizzy drinks – they have no nutritional benefits and are full of sugar (and some also have added salt)
  • Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks are not appropriate for children and should never be given.

Vegetarian diets:

If you’re not a meat-eating family, you’ll need to make sure that your child is eating enough of the other food groups to maintain good growth and a healthy body. While a vegetarian diet can supply all your child’s nutrients, it’s difficult for a young child to maintain a vegan diet, as they can quickly become deficient in vitamin B12, calcium, iron and protein.

  • Milk, cheese and eggs are all great sources of animal protein.
  • Dried beans and peas, seeds and nuts give vegetable protein – you’ll need to be careful how you present nuts as they can cause choking in children less than 5 years.
  • When vegetable protein is eaten with whole grain cereals you get a complete protein (which is as good as animal protein). It contains all the building blocks your body needs. Examples are soy beans with brown rice, or wholemeal bread with peanut butter.
  • Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.
  • Look at food combinations - match high-iron leafy greens with foods high in vitamin C to increase absorption. Subsequently, do not take iron with dairy as it can block absorption.

Try some of our favourite Kidspot recipes:


This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health

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