Healthy Snacks For Kids
There are a few topics most new parents are consumed by when they have a small child: sleep (or lackthereof), poop (how often, color, consistency), and food (what does your kid eat? How much? Etc.) As my baby group teacher once said, food is something kids can and will use against their parents in every single stage of life. There is nothing like a kid withholding eating to send a mother into a tizzy. And, babies are intuitive. They understand cause and effect – the more I push away my food, the more my mom reacts.
Thoughts On Snack Time
Now, snacks are their own ball game. There are so many things that make snack time challenging.
1) If I give my daughter too many snacks, will she eat her meals?
2) I’m in a rush or on the go all day, what snacks can I have available?
3) I want my daughter to have a positive relationship with food and eat things that taste good, but I also want her to be healthy. How do I achieve that balance?
4) She is 15 months old and wants to feed herself, so the snack needs to be easy for her to eat herself
5) Variety – how many times can she eat the same thing?
How To Tackle Snack Time
I’ve made a conscious decision to not stress about my daughter’s food habits, especially snacks. I find that the less I stress, the easier things become. I also do tons of searching on Pinterest and survey my friends to get inspiration for snack ideas. Here are some of my snacking guidelines:
Tip #1) We eat the same thing.
I love to make smoothies for myself. So I make a big batch and pour some out for my daughter. Then I add protein powder and pour the rest for me.
I sneak all sorts of veggies in our smoothies for extra fiber and nutrients: spinach, frozen cauliflower and garbanzo beans. I also throw in some chia seeds for added protein, calcium, fiber and omega 3.
Tip #2) Get creative.
She is obsessed with fish right now, so I tell her that sliced strawberries are little fish. If you leave the stem on, they look like fish. I also point out how orange slices look like a smile. We point out the colors of different food items. It makes snack time interactive and fun.
Tip #3) Take the easy road.
Sometimes a store bought toddler pouch is okay! My daughter loves the Earth’s Best sweet potato and garbanzo bean one, and I feel great about the ingredients and nutrients.
Tip #4) Cut out juice. In fact, don’t introduce it.
She is excited about drinking water out of a straw cup! That is still a new and novel thing to her.
She doesn’t need the extra sugar that is in juice. If we are at a birthday party and the other kids are drinking it, I don’t make a big deal and make her miss out, but it is not something I offer her or keep at home.
Tip #5) it’s about balance.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I only give my daughter apples with peanut butter and ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins), though she loves both of those snacks. Sometimes she eats goldfish and other times she eats homemade green smoothie muffins. It’s about balance, and I’m happy that my sweet girl is exposed to a variety of types of food.
Snacks We Love
Lastly, here are some of the things we have on rotation right now:
1) hard boiled eggs
2) slice of American cheese and blueberries
3) banana bites
For more posts baby and family related, click here.