6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Snack Healthy!

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. 😉

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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.IMG_525811) 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. IMG_51841I’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. IMG_51941Another 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.IMG_519212) 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.IMG_519114) 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.IMG_519315) 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.

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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!

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‘Sunday Morning’ Oatmeal Pancakes [GF]

Breakfast is probably my favorite part of the day.

Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite recipes that I am bringing over from the ‘former’ Nutritiously Sweet.

It’s perfect for your family’s Sunday morning breakfast – or any time!I like to prepare the batter over night (you made need to add just a smidge extra liquid in the morning) or wait about 30 minutes before cooking so the oats can absorb all the liquid. They are very nutritious and filling. 

These do still have protein powder, just not as much. If you want, you can even omit the protein powder* all together and just add another tablespoon of flour. Simple.

If you’re making a batch for a little one under 12 month old, I would omit the protein powder, Stevia & maple syrup. They don’t need it nor will they notice anything. Perfect finger food too!

Feel free to double (or triple!) this batch for a bigger crowd or why not save some for later? These pancakes freeze well once cooked and last in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Sunday Morning Oatmeal Pancakes (serves two “adults” – maybe)

  • 1 Cup GF [Quick] Oats
  • 2 Tbsps GF Flour (or flour of choice)
  • 2 Tbsps Vanilla Protein Powder*
  • 1 tsp Stevia (or sugar of choice)
  • 1/2 Cup Light Vanilla Soy Milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Large Egg, Whisked
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Dash of Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Chia Seeds (Optional)

Take first four dry ingredients and place into a bowl. Take the remaining ingredients and whisk together; add to dry ingredients and blend well. On a low-medium flame, cook pancake on stovetop.

Wait until pancake bottom is golden brown to flip and repeat cooking on other side. Remove from stove top and let cool, repeat til batter is done (makes about 4-5 pancakes).

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Making Habits.

I must saymaking habits ain’t easy.20160301_094210What do I mean by habits?

I mean the habit of making sure you are ready for the day; whether it’s prepping all the bottles or having an idea of what to cook for dinner. For this month I want to focus on “making habits” and getting organized.20160301_155854-1I want to get better about meal prepping and prepping in general. I find that I am a hott mess half the time when I walk out the door.

I mean how many parents are super together when they have a less than one year old human in the house?20160301_094153My workouts have been always on point and I must thank my current work situation for that; I’m a personal trainer and fitness instructor.12308303_10102391995663380_1912583468406585457_nI want to get back to making more “protein on the go” snacks. I have a bunch of different recipes on Nutritiously Sweet that I thought I’d share one here via Fit Coffee Mom.20160301_161924 They are super simple to make too! Literally what ever you feel like having, mix it in! You can always double or triple up the recipe if you’d like.20160301_161900Dark Chocolate Bites Ingredients (Inspired by this recipe):

  • 1 Tbsp of  Natural Peanut Butter (or any choice of nut butter)
  • 3 Tbsps of Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1.5 oz. [70% or higher] Dark Chocolate, Melted
  • 1-2 tsps of Unsweetened Almond or Soy Milk
  • Mix’ins (optional): chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and such.

Take all the ingredients and mix together to form a soft “cookie” dough, that can be made into ball either using your hands or melon scooper.TruffleRoll into six bites, then let them set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. I used vanilla protein powder, but have fun with it!

Try using chocolate or peanut butter protein powder, make it your own. Use one or two for a snack/ protein fuel “on the go.”

[Pictured ABOVE w/ Chia] Each bite comes to about 60 calories, 5 carbs, 3g fat, 4g protein and 2g fiber.

This is just an estimate as the numbers will vary based on what type of chocolate, milk, protein powder and mix’in’s you choose.

Feel free to make it vegan by using your favorite vegan protein powder. Vega is cool 😉

I’m linking it with Amanda for Think out LOUD Thursdays. Thanks for hosting lady!Thinking-Out-LoudQuestion: What’s your favorite protein snack or bar?