I’ll have to say, I am pretty lucky that Samantha enjoys a variety of foods, although there are those days she JUST wants raspberries. I’m sure there is going to be a time where she just wants to eat goldfish crackers and that’s not okay.
That’s where my friend Katie comes in…
She’s a mom of two little girls, works part-time and is all about keeping her family healthy. Today she is sharing with us 6 ways to get your kids to snack healthy. You can EVEN apply some of the tips to your family even if they are not so little anymore. 😉
Thanks to Sabrina for the invitation to guest blog!
My name is Katie, and I’ve got two little girls, a part-time job as a Physical Therapist and have recently started blogging on parenting, fitness, food and fun at EatSleepMomRepeat. Please check me out at Facebook when you get a chance!
She asked me to fill you in on some tips for healthy snacking for toddlers, so I’ve prepared a few suggestions for you here. It can be tough to break that goldfish habit, but there are so many easy ways to sneak in healthy foods for toddlers (and older kids too) if you take the pressure out of mealtimes and instead make them part of snack. Here are some suggestions for healthy snack options for your little ones.1) Smoothies. I’m always posting on this, because it is one of the easiest way to get nutrition into my kids without complaint. I use a base of kefir milk (Trader Joe’s makes a strawberry version that keeps our smoothies pink), I add a green (kale or spinach), and whatever fruit I have kicking around, or pull from my freezer stash. I’ve started throwing all their leftover cut up fresh fruit in a freezer bag, because I hate wasting and it’s a perfect use for this. Sometimes, especially when I hear the GI bug is going around school, I’ll add in Culturelle packets to pump them full of probiotic. Another tip I saw recently on the Two Blue Lemons blog, was to throw leftover smoothie into a popsicle mold and make layered pops. Can’t wait to try this. If you don’t already have a good juicer or blender, I recommend the Magic Bullet. Great if you’re only making 1-2 smoothies at a time.2) Muffins. For your carb-lovin’ kiddos, muffins are a great option. Again, you can hide all sorts of goodies without your picky kids even being aware of their existence. Pears, apples, bananas, zuchinni, pumpkin, blueberries, strawberries, you name it. You can throw oatmeal in too for more fiber and iron. I usually sub applesauce for oil, and try cutting any recipe that calls for flour with at least 1/2 whole wheat or oat flour instead. My hands-down family favorite is my Magic Banana Pumpkin Muffins – try the recipe here!
3) Energy bites. I started making these for myself, but found my five year old kept finishing them before I did. Super easy and full of protein to fill them up The recipe I use is 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup nut butter, 1/2 cup ground flax seed, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup honey, 1 tbs chia seeds, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix it all together, toss in the fridge for half an hour, then roll into balls. Keep refrigerated and they’ll be gone before you know it.4) Eggs. Just plan and simple hard boiled eggs. Both my girls love them, they make an easy breakfast or afternoon snack. I found the easiest way to make them is to boil water in a small saucepan (enough to cover the eggs) first, then lower eggs in and boil for 13 minutes. Run under cool water once done and leave in the fridge for up to 4-5 days for snacking.5) Cut up veggies and dip. The key to this is to cut them up ahead of time. I keep a Tupperware prepped and ready in the fridge and pull them out to occupy my hangry children during dinner prep time. We try for a fruits and veggies only rule after 4:00PM, so when they’re begging for snacks before dinner, I’ll toss out a plate of cut up carrots, cucumbers, peppers or whatever else I have lying around with a side of ranch and let them fill up on this first.
6) Home made yogurt pops or smoothie popsicles. Like I mentioned before, you can use leftover smoothie as base for your pops, or just throw yogurt and some fresh fruit in and freeze it up. The Zoku sets are great for little hands and little mouths.
Thanks again Katie for the awesome post on healthy snacking. Be sure to try one of these great tips today for you and YOUR family!