Healthy & Yummy Recipes For Toddlers
Fresh, healthy, yummy
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If you have a toddler you know what a challenge it can be sometimes to provide healthy meals and snacks day after day. It's not just the challenge of coming up with ideas; the bigger issue is WILL THEY EAT IT? Well, with three toddlers in this home: two year old twins and an 18 month old, I've come up with a list of options that works well for us and I'm hoping for you as well. Most of the time I try to buy organic products as well as fresh products from the local Farmer's Market.
* My all time favorite to make for the kids because I know they will eat it and because I enjoy it as well are sliced apples with peanut butter. This one is great because you can certainly provide fresh, organic apples and organic peanut butter but you don't have to, it's healthy no matter what. You can peel the apple for those that don't tolerate the apple peel or leave it on for optimum benefit. Apples are so easy to peel and take on the go also. With the variety of apples available, you are sure to find one that your child enjoys.
* Another favorite around here is a toddler bowl filled with dry Cheerios or Kix cereal mixed with raisins. They love to carry it around and it's not that hard to pick up the spills.You can mix it up by offering Craisins or other dried fruit too.
* My kids love yogurt, any flavor, mixed with a little bit of granola. It's easy, yummy and healthy. This is also something that can be an organic option if you choose. For the very brave and creative, there are many granola recipes so you can make your own.
* A rolled up piece of ham or turkey lunch meat is a great option for protein and there are lots of healthy brands, just be sure to read the nutrition label. As a twist you can put a thin layer of light cream cheese on it before you roll it up.
* Organic peanut butter crackers. Kids usually love these and the tiny kind are so easy for small hands.This is another great one when you are on the go. Each child can have their own baggies or container full in the car or stroller.
* Graham crackers alone or dipped in yogurt. There is something about being able to dip that toddlers just love! For an extra special treat, let your kids spread their own frosting on the graham crackers.
* Organic fruit snacks. There are several choices available in all kinds of flavors. The toddler variety are soft and easy for little teeth to chew. Plus, kids love to carry around the little packets they come in.
* Sliced and peeled cucumbers. This is a great snack to take on the go because there is minimal mess and it's a great way to sneak the veggies in. At home you can also use these for dipping in low fat yogurt.
* Fresh, in-season berries are always a hit. Blueberries provide so much nutrition and are so easy to just put in a bowl and let them snack away! Strawberries are great too, but we found out the hard way not to introduce them too early. One of ours developed an allergic reaction.
* Cubes of watermelon, cantaloupe, or honey dew melon are great fruit options. Mix it up with pineapple, kiwi and mango for variety and the kids will be asking for seconds.
* Another snack high on our list of favorites is string cheese. It's just so fun and yummy, what else is there to say? Plus, so easy when on the go!
* Cereal and fruit bars are a good snack if you check the labels for the lower sugar types.
*Another fun thing the kids love to snack on are quesadillas. I make mine with spinach tortillas or pita halves, fill with cheese and chicken, warm up and they are ready. These are great lunch options also.
*Smoothies are fun snacks and the kids can help by adding items to the blender and they have a blast watching the blender whirl. I find this an easy option for adding in veggies and fruit for picky eaters. You can sneak in green veggies and offset the taste with sweet frozen berries. The idea of getting to use a sippy cup with a straw instead of a lid is icing on the cake.
For us, the key has been to introduce a wide variety of healthy options early on, so the kids are open to snacking that is not defined by sweet and sugary. It can also be fun to try to rise to the challenge of being creative and trying new things myself. If my kids see me snacking on something it's almost a guarantee that there will be a bee line race to get the next bite! I would love to hear more ideas to add to my own.
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