Healthy Yummy Snacks
When it comes to kids and snacking, we always want something that is fresh, easy to put together, and delicious for the wee ones.
This weeks pick:
Mini Cottage Cheese Cups
My husband and I love cottage cheese. It’s really healthy because it’s filled with protein and calcium and is low in fat. It also has a good shelf life in the fridge. When looking for a quick snack for Sloane one day I decided that instead of yogurt I would try the cottage cheese. Well she loved it! Now, as soon as I open up the refrigerator, she points to the top shelf and says ” ca-ca”…her version of cottage cheese. To boot, you can get the cottage cheese in these handy 6oz containers which are the perfect size for a toddler. I am usually wary about getting these little individual sizes because they often cost more than the big tub, but actually you get the same amount of cottage cheese in this Breakstone 4 pack of mini’s that you do in the larger size tub. Even if you’re not the biggest cottage cheese fan, try it out for your kids and see what happens.
Frozen Bananas on a Stick
Catherine at Weelicious is as obsessed with quick and easy snacks as we are. Well one of her yummy fun snacks is chocolate covered frozen bananas(you can also hold off on the chocolate if you want). All you need are the bananas, the wooden sticks, and some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Begin by melting your chocolate in the microwave, or in a double boiler on the stove. To double boil, just take a pot with an inch of water, place a glass bowl to sit on the top of the pot with the chocolate chips, and let the water melt the chocolate. Take your bananas and break them in half. Then skewer them so the stick almost reaches the top part of the banana. Dip them in the melted chocolate and voila! Take your chocolate, or not so chocolatey bananas and lie them down on saran/parchment paper on top of a plate and stick them in the freezer for 4-6 hours or until frozen. This is a great activity to do on those super cold days where the park may not be an option. Just because it’s not summer doesn’t mean we can’t have some frozen treat fun! Take a look at the original post here.
Sliced cheese and apples
Sometimes one of the best snacks to give the kids is one that we would eat ourselves. I often find myself buying things at the grocery store that will be good snacks for Sloane, but won’t really work as snacks or munchies for me or Sean. During the last few weeks, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, my grocery store was not fully stocked, and I felt that I needed to be really resourceful in what I bought. I tried to buy only the essentials. Two of the items that I ALWAYS keep in my house are cheese and apples. I personally love Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese. I think it is just as good (if not better) than many of the fancy cheddar cheeses in the cheese aisle and the package comes with a good hefty amount of cheese. I also always have apples lying around whether I have bought them on special at the grocery store, or from my local fruit vendor, they are a fruit that has a really good fridge shelf life and have a whole host of vitamins and minerals ( Vitamins A, C, and B6).
I love to give Sloane a few slices of each and let her munch away. She gets the vitamins from the apple, calcium from the cheese and a good filling snack!
Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Pancakes
I am completely obsessed with making sure Sloane has at least one vegetable every day. But lets face it. It can be really hard. Breakfast is eggs or cereal, lunch is chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese, and dinner is pasta. Well when I realized that these spinach pancakes from Dr. Praeger’s were virtually chemical and artificial ingredient free, I jumped on the idea of feeding them to Sloane for a snack. They come individual wrapped inside a box with 6 pancakes to a box. I usually heat them up in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then quickly brown them in a pan on the stove. She loves them and gobbles them up. You can easily make one at home or you can make it before your child leaves for school and cut it up for their lunch box.
Healthy Homemade Popcorn
I have always thought that eating popcorn at home meant taking a bag filled wth kernels out of the pantry, sticking it in the microwave and waiting for the kernels to pop. Little did I know, making popcorn at home can be a lot more healthy, less expensive, and more delicious! You don’t need to have one of those fancy air poppers. All you need to have is a deep pot, some popcorn kernels, Canola Oil, and Salt. I’m not big on measuring with cups and spoons (specifically becuase it makes more dishes for me to clean up) so pour your oil into the pot to lighty coat the bottom. Stick one kernel in and turn the heat to medium high. Put the cover on the pot but leave it open a little bit. Wait for the kernel to pop. Once it has, put in a one level coating of popcorn on the bottom of the pot, pour in some salt, and place the lid back on with a little room left open. In about 8-10 minutes time, the whole pot will be filled with fresh, delicious, and healthy popcorn!
Edamame is a Japanese soy bean. You can often find these beans on the menu at your local Japanese restaurant still in their pod. The edamame beans are stored inside their pods just how peas are stored inside the green bean. The big difference is that edamame are PACKED with protein. A great reason to give our kids a protein filled snack is because it’s sure to fill them up and help them stay full. Luckily you don’t have to visit a Japanese restaurant anymore to find these edamame snacks, you can find them right in the frozen food section of your grocery store.
You can find them two ways: either still in their pod, or already shelled. All you then need to do is let the beans defrost in some warm water and they are ready to eat! The beans still in their pod are super fun for kids to suck on and pull out the beans, or you can set them out in a bowl already shelled to munch on like nuts or popcorn. Edamame was always a favorite of my students, and has now become a favorite of my family’s!
Sun Butter (a fabulous alternative to peanut butter)
Have you ever heard of Sun Butter? Up untill about 3 years ago I hadn’t heard of it either. I had seen the many other alternatives to peanut butter like Almond Butter or Cashew Butter, but I had never come across an alternative that was not made from nuts. Being someone that developed nut allergy later on in life, I have been searching for years for something I could eat that would have the nutrional value and similar taste, and texture to peanut butter. I finally found it in Sun Butter!
Sun Butter is a peanut butter like spread made solely from sunflower seeds. It comes in crunchy or smooth just like peanut butter, is high in protein and is absolutely delicious! I use in on a rice cracker for an easy snack for Sloane, or just eat it in spoonfulls. Sometimes I even mix it into her oatmeal in the morning…which she just loves! There are so many nut allergies out there, and sun butter is a great way for kids to feel like they can eat a PB and J (it’s just an SB and J..hehe). Sun Butter is processed in a nut free facility so need to worry there either. Enjoy!
Now, I know this may seem to some of you like an obvious choice. For others, it’s an idea that you may not have thought of before. Well raisins are an incredibly healthy and easy snack to provide for your children. All you have to do is buy a box at the store, and seperate into smaller baggies. If you look in your grocery store, you may see raisins sold in smaller boxes. These are already portioned out for individuals. You can always buy these if you’re in a rush, but they tend to cost more for a smaller amount of raisins. Raisins are full of antioxidants and healthy vitamins.
My students were always obsessed with a snack called “fruit leather”. The reason this snack got its name is becuase when you bite into it, it actually feels like you are pulling at leather. It is chewy, stretchy, but oh so delicious! This is banana leather, and you can actually make it right at home with JUST ONE INGREDIENT! All you have to do is slice bananas legthwise and thin. Lay them on a baking sheet covered with parchement paper, and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 250 degrees. They come out sweet and chewy…just the way their supposed to be. Yum yum. Check out the original post here on weelicious.
It can often be a struggle to get our kids to eat their veggies. They often don’t want any salad during dinner or steamed broccolli on the side of their lunch. What we sometimes forget is that our kids can get their fill of veggies throughout the day during snack times. There are a few veggies that I have found that kids love. Especially becuase they can eat them with their fingers. These veggies are sweet, crunchy, and filled with flavor. Try them with your child and see how they fair to other more sugary processed snacks.
1. Baby carrots
2. Sugar snap peas
3. Cold uncooked green beans
4. sliced cucumber
5. cherry tomatoes
Favorite snack foods for babies and toddlers
For this weeks snack, I thought I would share with you my 10 favorite snack foods. Some are snacks that we eat at home with Sloane, but many are snacks that parents brought in for school snack. Each of the items on the list should be easy to find at your local grocery store, Target, or Walmart. We are big advocates for making life easy on everyone by helping our kids develop a taste for adult food. The majority of the snacks below are ones that can be shared between mom/dad and child…without having dad eating chicken fingers.
Babies -14 months
- Cheerios..we love the multigrain.
- Rice cakes
- Cut up cheese stick
- Plum organics vegetable puffs
- Chopped up fruit like bananas, pears, or watermelon
- Fruit (bananas, apples, peaches, plums): slice it, dice it, or give it to them whole
- Pita chips. You can often find your local supermarket brand that can be much cheaper than the namebrand ones.
- Graham crackers
- Dried fruit.
- Granola Bars: make sure to read the ingredients so you buy one with little to no added sugar. We love the zBar which is the kids version by Cliff Bar.
- Rice cakes: they make tons of delicious flavors like caramel and chocolate!
- Seaweed! Believe it or not, this high antioxidant vegetable comes in little portable packages.
- Yogurt: try getting the squeezable pouches like GoGurt! They will be super happy to be self reliant.
- Trail mix: you can easily make your own with your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and even a few pieces of dark chocolate
Watermelon and Blueberry Fruit Wands
When it’s hot outside like it has been the past week, do you ever struggle to get your kids to eat cold fruit instead of sugar laden store bought ice pops? Well here is the perfect thing. These fourth of July fruit wands are easy and delicious and all you need are blueberries and watermelon. If your kids don’t particularly love these two fruits, or you can’t easily get them at the grocery store, choose two other fruits that your family loves. Slice up the watermelon and use a cookie cutter to make the star shape. Then take wooden grilling skewers (you can find these at the grocery store or even at the dollar store) thread your blueberries on, and top it with your watermelon star. If you would like to see the original post or watch a “how to video, click here.
It sure is easy and fun to make delicious and healthy homemade pickles! All you need are some kirby cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt and mustard seed. You’ll heat the liquid to dissolve the salt, and let the cucumbers spend about a week getting pickled! You can take a look at the original recipe at Nutri-Savvy where we were lucky enough to guest post last Friday!
These ice pops are as simple to put together as they are healthy. Nothing fake or processed. All you need to do is take 3 ingredients: water, lemon juice, and honey and mix it together. Then take your favorite types of fruit like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, or kiwi and mix it it. Pour your liquidy fruit into ice pop molds and freeze! You’ll have ice pops “your way” by lunchtime. For the recipe take a look at the original post on weelicious.
This week we have a yummy bruschetta recipe. If you don’t know what bruschetta is, it’s a fancy name or a chopped tomato salad served over toasted bread. This snack is great to make for an afternoon at home or on the weekends. You really only need 5 ingredients ( tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, and bread). It won’t take you more than 10 minutes to make…I promise! Click to see the recipe and the original post on Weelicious.
Ellas Kitchen Protein Travel Packs
Have you ever heard of Ella’s Kitchen? Well it’s is a company that creates handy and easy to travel with foods from all natural and 100% organic ingredients. They make food that works for children from 4 months all the way up through Kindergarten years. Our pick for this week though is their handy new protein packed 10 month+ travel pouches. They have flavors like Carribean Chicken, Salmon Risotto, and Spag Bol (for spaghetting with meat sauce). Does it really get better than that? Healthy and delicious food that you can throw in your bag and hand over to your little man at the drop of a hat. Now, although they say 10+ on the package, if you have been adventurous with eating like us, try them with your little one. S is 8 months right now and loved the Salmon risotto. I mean, she was so head over heels that she ate the whole 6oz package! I can’t wait to try more of their flavors!
These are Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds. If you thought that you could only have that wonderful fresh snack of roasted salted pumpkin seeds during pumpkin season, think again. These pepitas are a little smaller than traditional pumpkin seeds, but taste just as good, if not better! They also tend to be a great deal less expensive (at about $1.99 a bag) compared to a smaller bag of pumpkin seeds (about $5.99 a bag). They are easy to take with you on the go and provide lots of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, and protein! Check out some of Catherine’s others suggestions over at our favorite food site Weelicious.
Do you remember the delicious taste and fun you had when eating fruit by the foot as a kid? Well now you can feel good about giving something similar to your kids. FruitaBu is an all natural fruit leather snack with no artificial flavors or colors that provides 1/2 a serving of fruit! You can stick it in the lunchbox, in your snack bag on the way to the park, or just have it on hand in the house.