Quick and Healthy Toddler Snacks
On the Go
If your toddler is anything like mine, they want to eat now and often. My son is about to be 2 and he is always eating, envision a tape worm with the cutest smile. Three squares plus at least 2-3 snacks a day. When he was younger I used several of the Gerber variety snack, however as he has gotten older, he wants real food as he calls it. Here are a few snacks that are quick and easy and a few that can be made ahead of time to pull out in an instant
VEGGIES AND RANCH
Never lose faith in the power of dip with toddlers. At this age they love to dip about anything and why not make it healthy. Clean and cut carrots, brocolli, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and anything else. Party with a small little cup of ranch and they are sure to enjoy their vegetables.
Nature's perfect snack for a reason, merely wash and cut in to pieces and your toddler is getting great nutrients, antioxidants and fiber to keep things moving. Adding more fruits and vegetables into your children's diet is sure to produce more alert energy to learn and grow. Not to mention, with the recommended fruits and vegetables daily, child hood irregularity should never be an issue. Dried and dehydrated fruit are good in a pinch during off seasons and on the go with minimal mess.
ANTS ON A LOG
One of my favorites growing up, you simply cut several pieces of celery into 3inch planks. Top with peanut butter and several raisins. Protein from the peanut butter is a good natural source of necessary fats and lasting energy to run. Apple slices are another way you could make these if your child refuses the celery. When your child's eating skills are honed enough, leave little bits of skin on for a boost in dietary fiber.
So easy and quick to make. Grabbing a large ziplock bag, mix in whatever dried fruit, cereals and nuts that you have. My son's favorite is a few peanuts, sunflower seeds, multi grain cheerios, raisins, craisins, dates, coconut flakes and a few M & Ms.
CHEESE AND CRACKERS
Using a whole grain cracker and a low moisture mozzarella this is a quick and healthy choice. Grapes seem to go perfectly as a filling snack before dinner.
Taking full leafs of any lettuce, roll up with a small amount of deli meat and cheese. With a little bit of ranch to dip, you can possibly get them to even eat some raw spinach. Making these in the morning while cooking breakfast, they will hold well all day wrapped tightly with plastic wrap.
Making the jello as directed with half the water needed, using an ice cube tray as a mold. The end product when cooled will be thicker and stiffer and hold up better to your tiny toddlers hands. Also you can cut up some small pieces of fruit, to hide a few more nutrients.
In small paper cups, pour your toddlers favorite juice. Place a craft stick in the center and freeze. Always a big hit in those hot summer months. Craft sticks can be pick up anywhere for a couple of dollars for a hundred of so.
BLACK BEAN TAQUITOS
When you have a bit more time, maybe a weekend day that dinner will be pushed back an hour or so, give your toddler a more hearty snack. In a small bowl, mix a cup of drained canned black beans, 1/2 cup fozen corn, 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, 1 teaspoons of chilli powder and salt and pepper to taste. After mixing well, place small amount of mixture in small flour tortilla, grilling until light brown and cheese is melted. Cut into 2 inch strips and serve with ranch or salsa as a dip. If you have any grilled chicken or steak, that can be added in for a protein bonus.
Making a grilled cheese sandwich, preferably on wheat bread, cut in to 4 sticks. Heat up a homemade soup or canned in a pinch and serve together. This is a messier snack, but hearty and healthy. It will also help with your toddlers eating habits and eye hand coordination.
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