Looking to feed your toddler a bit healthier?
Ditch the convenient bag of cookies for something nutritious. It can become very easy to get caught up in the advertisements of “children’s snacks” and go down the path of overexposing your children to unhealthy amounts of processed foods and refined sugars.
Introducing a wide variety of food while children are young allows their palates to become familiar to different textures and tastes. Trust me it is much easier the younger you start with this. Even if you have an extremely picky eater, it is crucial you continue to offer new foods and even re-offer rejected foods.
For about six months our daughter would barely eat any ground turkey or beef. I am assuming it was a texture issue. She would have no problem with chicken, especially rotisserie chicken! But we continued to reintroduce it every time we had a meal with it. Some days she would not try it, others we would get a bite here or there. Now, she is able to eat a taco bowl or spaghetti with ground beef or turkey in it without a problem.
It is important to expose your children to foods that you are not fond of. Especially if you are a highly picky eater yourself. Sometimes that can be a little tricky, but it is important to let your children grow into their own person!
Looking back at what I preferred eating as a child, the majority of my dislikes were because my mom didn’t like something and I just assumed I didn’t either until I became an adult and re-tried the food myself.
As with everything, experiment with new ideas until you find works best with your lifestyle.
As a family that is on the go more times than not, we are always looking for healthy snack ideas that we can put together fast and that travel well.
Here are the five healthy snacks for toddlers:
Our little one loves cucumbers and peppers (particularly red peppers as they are a bit sweeter) You can peel the skin off the veggies or not and slice them according to what you think your little one can handle. Melina is a faster eater who takes big bites so we cut ours a bit smaller to pace her. For older children, carrot sticks would be great too!
You can pair the veggie sticks with the hummus for your little one to dip or get some pita bread! Kids love to dip their food in about anything at the toddler age so not only is it a healthy snack but also entertaining! Win-Win!!
There are single serve hummus cups available at the grocery store, just be careful some contain hydrogenated oils – yuck!
Same idea as the hummus. Guacamole either can be paired up with veggie sticks or some tortilla chips, or even spoon fed! When we traveled with Melina guacamole was a go-to food! Grocery stores also sell these in single serve cups! We really like the Wholly Guacamole minis!
3. Hard-boiled eggs
Incorporating enough protein in children’s diets can become a little tricky especially since many children are particular about what meats they eat. Having hard boiled eggs on hand makes it easy to grab and offer as a snack. Our daughter doesn’t like the yolk so we just make sure she only has the egg whites and rinse the yolk off for her.
This is something that can be done at the beginning of the week and in the fridge when needed. Place your eggs in a pot that is the right size for the number of eggs you are preparing and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, and remove from the heat. Let it sit for about 8-10 minutes depending on how you like your eggs cooked. Drain, cool in ice water and peel. I have found it is easiest to peel with running water over the eggs as you do it.
4. Fruit bowl
Most kiddos enjoy eating fruit since it is so naturally sweet. Simply rinse your little ones favorite fruit and put it in a bowl or to-go container!
Our favorite fruit bowl blend right now is raspberries, blueberries, strawberries (sliced like chips), and sometimes blackberries. Of course, you can always change out for what is fresh in season! I would not advise blackberries for children under two on the go as they are very messy.
5. Kale chips
Yes, you heard me, kale chips! We have been giving Melina kale chips ever since she was 14 months old. And she absolutely LOVES them!
We cook about a sheet pan full of kale with EVO lightly drizzled evenly on 400 degrees. Cooking time is about 8-10 minutes checking on it after 6 minutes. Sometimes it crunches up faster than other times so it is best just to learn how your hot your oven runs and go from there.
We have found that it is best to serve right when they come out as they are the crunchiest and easier for toddlers to eat. Soon as the kale begins to soften it will become very chewy, making it difficult for little ones to properly break it up.
This particular snack takes a little bit more work. But it is so worth it!! Instead of feeding your little one potato chips you can give them delicious kale chips and feel good about!
Remember that just because they did or do not prefer something now does not mean they are never going to eat it.
Try to reintroduce it later! Sometimes it takes trying foods multiple times before they will be willing to eat it.
Incorporating healthy food into our lives and the lives of our children are such important building blocks for a good foundation for them to grow and develop into the best version of themselves.
I would love to hear what healthy snacks you are feeding your children. Please leave suggestions in the comments below!