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Article written by Nancy Frecks (, Extension Educator in southwest Nebrasaka.

Spring is a time for contrasts. It can be bitterly cold one day, and the next, a beautiful spring day. Plants go from being dormant, to green and growing overnight. Some spring days are rainy, while others are dry. It is a good time to help your child understand what makes things contrasting.

A great way for them to learn is to have them try different "contrasting" snacks. Think of pairing foods that are salty and sweet, smooth and crunchy, dark and light colored, hot and cold, or maybe even different shapes. Enjoy family time together creating some of these contrasting snacks:

  • Salty pretzels dipped in sweet yogurt
  • Hot cocoa with frozen banana slices
  • Layer red strawberries with vanilla yogurt for a contrasting parfait
  • Various shaped cereal mixed together (circles, triangles, squares)

Snack MixContrast Snack Mix

2 cups crunchy oat cereal (circle shaped) 
½ cup sweet and chewy raisins or dried cranberries
½ cup other dried fruit like blueberries or cherries
1 cup small square crackers
½ cup candy coated dark chocolate pieces or chocolate chips

  • Wash hands with soap and water. Mix together and store in an air tight container or put ½ to 1 cup portions into zip top bags. Makes 9 servings (1/2 cup each). Each serving contains 162 calories, 5.5 g fat, 65 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 17 g sugar, 2.4 g fiber and 2.4 g protein.

Note: Peanuts, almonds or other nuts would also be great additions to this snack mix if serving to children older than 4 years of age who are at less risk of choking.


  1. Daily Food Plan for Preschoolers — Snacks: United States Department of Agriculture.
  2. Choking Hazards: United States Department Agriculture.