Check for allergies prior to serving ANY food products. Peanut, gluten, and milk product allergies are common among today’s children.
Snack time becomes part of the learning experience with the addition of theme related snacks; however the great standby of cookies and Kool-Aid is still a good option. Budget, nutritional value, and special dietary needs of children are considerations when planning for VBS 2012 snack time. As a decision is made about which snack option is best for your church consider options suggestions found on the VBS Snack Rotation Card Packet from LifeWay:
- Kid Step suggestions require designation of a rotation time as children will have a part in completing the snack Rotation cards 7 – 15, those with the green ribbon with the white ticket on the left hand corner, contain recipes and suggestions that are Kid Step designed.
- Leader Prep suggestions will need advance preparation with a definite plan for distribution. Many churches combine snack time to provide maximum use of time with another rotation designation such as recreation. Cards 16 – 23 , those with the reddish ribbon with the white ticket contain yummy suggestions.
- Store bought suggestions are easily purchased items that need little or no preparation are found on card 25. These can be easily distributed during most of the rotation times or in-between a rotation change
- Dinner theme ideas are found on card 24, great ideas for VBS kick-off or family night. The key to success is involvement of all age groups and a dinner that can bring the family and leaders together.
- Preschool Friendlysnack cards are designated with a black ribbon across the colored and a Preschool Friendly Sign in the upper left corner. These are appropriate for children under six years of age (obtain parental permission prior to giving any food or beverage to their child.) In addition, there are several suggestions in the Preschool Leader guides. Steps to help build strong relationship between leaders and parents include:
- Provide a list of the snacks to be served, along with their ingredients on pre-enrollment day. If these are purchased items, list the brand with ingredients found on the container
- Provide snacks for children under two only if the parent has given permission as parents may prefer only snacks brought from home to be offered to their child. Parents of younger children need to be part of the decision regarding any food their child receives
- With younger preschoolers indicate on the daily take home notes to parents the type of snacks that have been consumed by their child, even those that were included in the child’s diaper bag.
- Prepare a welcome sheet to go home with children to include information about snacks along with the Bible study plan for the week, names of teachers in each age group, and contact information for your church.
Along with the snack suggestions LifeWay has included Bible content, snack prayer suggestions, fun theme facts, decorating ideas, leader duties, and additional activity cards. LifeWay has granted permission to duplicate the Bible content cards (2-6) and distribute to the snack rotation leaders.
- Keep the teaching time effective with use of Bible related activities throughout the VBS experience.
- Include time for a “Wow” moment as part of the snack rotation; ask questions about their experiences in VBS sessions for the day.
- Always wash hands prior to snack preparations or eating.
- Gather all ingredients before children arrive, consider making a sample prior to asking children to participate.
- Allow time for all children to consume their snack in a safe manner.
- Discourage food eating contests as this can lead to frustration and even poses a choking hazard.
- Do not force a child to eat or drink.
- Involve everyone in the clean-up process.
- Have fun, enjoy the experience, and share Jesus each day while enjoying God’s bounty of food.
VBS Favorites Prices are all estimates depending upon local grocers.
Kid Step Snacks 2013
Coaster Car Tracks requires leaders to cut licorice prior to use and suggests use of gumdrops in place of marshmallows. Kid’s love making and eating these! Cost per serving 12 cents
Carousel Poles (preschool friendly) messy, but enjoyed by most children. Cost per serving 15 cents
Fruity Towers not a favorite of kids tested, but the leaders really enjoyed this tasty snack. Cost per serving 40 cents
Popcorn Cupcakes (preschool friendly) fun, a little messy, but loved by all the children. Cost per serving depends upon purchased cupcakes or baked by volunteers. Using purchased cupcakes the cost per serving was 36 cents
Cotton Candy Floats appealed to the older group of children but not the younger ones. The float was not as desirable as other suggested snacks. Cost per serving 12 cents
Striped Snow Cones were a hit with all the kids. Suggest that syrup be purchased at a local discount store in several flavors that come in bottles with attached squeeze lids. Making the syrup was messy and took too much time. Cost per serving 10 cents
Teacups fun,flavorful, and enjoyed by all. Could be done ahead of time by leaders as the children enjoyed eating more than creating. Cost per serving 27 cents.
Colossal Coaster Cars Yummy, but a little expensive for a large VBS crowd. Children enjoyed creating and eating these tasty treats. The store brand vanilla filled cakes work well too. Cost per serving 62 cents.
Leader Prep Suggestions
Requires leaders to do all the work.
Pizza On A Stick Use skewers that do not have a pointed edge. A little costly, but enjoyed by most children. Cost per serving 60 cents
Fruity Firework Treats Preschool Friendly. Kids really love this version of Rice Krispy Treats. Cost per serving 22 cents
Colossal Cookies Preschool Friendly. Cool treat that kids really like. A little pricey at 50 cents per serving.
Cyclone Corn Dogs Another really good snack that kids like. Takes time and need to cool to avoid burning a child. Cost per serving 16 cents
Carousel Confetti Dip not a favorite of kids although the leaders really liked this different dip. Cookies and pretzels were preferred over fruit to dip. Cost per serving 25 cents
Fun Flavored Popcorn great snack, kids enjoyed the variety of colors and flavors that could be created. Can be done the day before and stored in airtight containers. Cost per serving 8 cents
Tilt-A-Whirl Fun Mix otherwise known as a new trail mix. Really sweet, but good. Kids liked this mixture and asked for more. Cost per serving 12 cents.
Strawberry Frozen Lemonade refreshing and enjoyed by most children and the leaders. Leave out the hulled strawberries as kids do not like the texture. Cost per serving 10 cents.
BE ALERT OF FOOD ALLERGIES AND SERVE SNACKS THAT DO NOT CREATE HEALTH ISSUES.
Dinner Options and suggestions are found on card 24 – great ideas to provide incentive for families to be on board with VBS.
Store Bought Option suggestions are found on Card 25 – purchase from local stores, suggestions found on card #25. Of course, homemade cookies and Kool-Aid are always a great way to involve church members and the kids love these!