Our little darlings are not always amenable to eating healthy, no matter how hard we try. Here are some clever snack ideas to help inspire them towards developing good eating habits later in life. You’ve got this! Life will go beyond the cheerios and goldfish crackers ground into your car upholstery, I promise. Try to involve your toddlers in the preparations to the best of their abilities. Kids who can participate in the preparing of food, are more likely to try new things!
This couldn’t be an easier. Apples are the perfect fruit chock full of fiber and vitamin C. Add protein from a nut or seed butter, and you have a balanced snack that not only is good for your toddler, but fun as well!First core an apple, and then slice into rings. Have your child help spread nut or seed butter of your choice and choose toppings such as mini chocolate chips, flaked coconut, orcereal such as cornflakes or crispy rice to sprinkle on top. Enjoy!
3 Ingredient Fruit Roll Ups
These take a bit more prep work (and wait time!) but are worth every fruity-minute knowing exactly what ingredients are going into this sweet snack! Harness the antioxidant power of fresh berries in this easy to make snack. Puree 2 cups of fruit (we used strawberries and raspberries) in food processor or blender until smooth. Add 2 tbsp. *honey (or 2-3 tsp sugar or stevia to taste) and 2 tbsp. lemon juice. Mix until blended. Line a rimmed pan with heavy duty plastic wrap, and spread fruit mixture as thin as possible without any ‘holes’. Set in 225-degree oven for 1.5 hours or until the middle is no longer gooey. Cool, cut into strips and make into rolls. For a more ‘classic’ treat, use parchment strips that can be peeled off.
Watermelons are powerhouses of the fruity realm. High in vitamin C, with only 46 calories per serving, they help hydrate your body with their high-water content- hence their name! Slice a watermelon into wedges (triangles) Top each ‘slice’ with your choice of fresh fruit, such as banana slices, kiwi, blueberries and raspberries. Finish by sprinkling with toasted coconut flakes. For added nutrition, spread *honey flavored Greek yogurt as the ‘sauce’ on each slice before adding fruit.
Freeze Dried Fruit
Freeze dried fruit has come a long way since the foil wrapped dehydrated astronaut or backpacking meals of yesteryear. The latest technology allows us to be able to enjoy freeze dried fruit that not only tastes amazing, but has also retained the high nutritional content of the original fruit. Freeze dried fruit is a perfect on the go snack, that doesn’t need refrigeration or special care. Look for varieties that are non-GMO, and free of unnatural preservatives or additives.
High in fiber and vitamin C, applesauce is a great snack for toddlers. Mix it up by creating these frozen goodies. Their small size means they freeze quickly and stored in the freezer for toddler pleasing snack at a moment’s notice. The size is perfect for little fingers. Drop small dollops of your toddler’s favorite applesauce onto waxed paper and freeze. Peel from the paper and serve. You can also use the same method using yogurt- bump up the nutrition by sprinkling on dried coconut or freeze-dried fruit before freezing.
Fro-Yo Bites with Berries
Spray a mini muffin tin withnon-stick spray. Sprinkle 2tbsp., of prepared granola cereal into each cup, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt (roughly 2-3 tbsp.) and fruit such as raspberries, blueberries and chunked strawberries for a vitamin C packed treat. Freeze. Allow to thaw a few minutes as they can be very hard when first removed from the freezer. These are great for toddlers that need to chew on something to soothe sore gums, all while satisfying their tummies with high protein, calcium rich Greek yogurt and fruity wholesomeness.
Mixed Fruit Popsicles
Add cut fresh fruit such as kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and sliced bananas to popsicle molds for a fabulously colorful and nutritious snack. Instead of high calorie, sugar laden juice, pour coconut water into mold to cover and freeze. Besides the benefit of a variety of fruit, coconut water is full of electrolytes,antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc. What a great way to get your toddler rehydrated and provide a healthy snack at the same time!
(*honey consumption is not recommended for children under the age of 1)