By Serena Norr
Snacking is big part of a toddler’s day. Of course, those three square meals are very important, but eating throughout the day is what is going to sustain your tots’ hunger, while also keeping them energized and hopefully helping to quell any meltdowns or crankiness. Oftentimes, though, snacking isn’t always healthy or can be downright boring for kids. Here are some exciting snack options that are not only delicious but are the nutritious and healthy boost your child needs to get them through the day.
Trail mix: Gather a bunch of nuts like slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans, etc, along with raisins, dried cranberries, apricots and figs for a power-packed high fiber and protein snack. If your child isn’t into nuts (or to young to consume them), you can add in their favorite cereal or some low sodium pretzels instead.
Granola Bars: I’m not talking about those high-sugar varieties, but one that you make yourself like this one on Wit and Whistle that are packed with delicious oats, wheat germ, nuts and dried fruits. As I mentioned, cooking with kids is an incredible activity that allows you to bond where your kids also learn about techniques and new ingredients. With granola bars, you can personalize them to what your child loves like various nut proteins for some protein or even some dark chocolate for a sweet treat.
Cheese and Fruit: Nothing innovative with this snack idea, but the combination of this high protein/high fiber snack is not only a popular and tasty treat but one that will keep your child’s energy levels stable until dinnertime. I like the idea of a fruit/cheese kabob, which can be mixed up with a variety of your child’s favorite fruits/veggies. You can even serve it with yogurt on the side for an added boost of calcium and Vitamin D.
Applesauce: Another all time favorite, applesauce is quick snack that also doubles up as a healthy one with a high concentration of vitamin C and fiber. I recently made a plum/apple one with cinnamon and some mint (optional). It was a toddler pleaser that was something a little different than typical applesauce. You can also freeze this applesauce into Popsicle trays for a cool (an healthy) treat on a hot day.
Easy Applesauce Recipe:
6-10 plums, cut into small squares
2-3 apples, cut into small squares
1-2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
½ cup of organic sugar
bunch of fresh mint, optional
Directions: Pour water into a small pot. Cut up the plums and apples and them to the boiling water. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes. Stir and add in the sugar, mint and cinnamon and let cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and with an electric mixture, blend all of the ingredients together and cover. Let cool for an hour and chill overnight.
Mini Sandwiches: You can’t deny the ease with which kids will consume bread. Rather than eating it plain, a great snack is to make a smaller version of their favorite sandwich to tide them over in between meals. I love cheese and avocado sandwiches with whole grain bread or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with raisins.
Smoothies: Even the pickiest eater will enjoy a slushy-like drink with all of their favorite fruits. I like to sneak in some veggies like carrots, along with flax seed, yogurt or milk and fruit such as cantaloupe, berries or pineapples – whatever your child likes throw it in there. You’ll be amazed at how quick they drink a smoothie while they are getting a nutritional snack to boot.
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About the Author:
A Brooklyn-based writer and mom of two, Serena Norr created her original blog Seriously Soupy as a way to learn more about soups and to experiment with new ingredients. She also writes about healthy living, parenting and lifestyle topics on her blog Mama Goes Natural.