If the kids in your home are anything like the ones around here, they're requesting a snack about 75% of the day, every single day. We aren't super strict on the amount of snacks that we hand out - I assume growing boys that are constantly moving and grooving need lots of fuel, so I'm not too stingy with how much snacking they do. However, I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to healthy snacking options. Below I'll share a few of my favorite healthy snacks for the littles in your life.
- Strawberries & Grapes
My oldest isn't a huge fruit lover (unless it's frozen), in spite of my trying. However, my tiny guy LOVES it. Right now we are on a real Strawberry/Grape kick, and we go through at least a carton of strawberries a week. It's definitely important to remember to cut these up into bite size portions, especially the grapes, since they can be a choking hazard. Plus, the more pieces they have to eat, the longer they spend eating the snack, the longer it is until I have to figure out ANOTHER snack, and so on....
- Crackers/Apple Slices With Peanut Butter
My three year old has a new-found love for peanut butter, and since I'm always trying to find ways to push protein in his diet, I will put peanut butter on just about anything these days. Two things that work well around here are crackers (whatever's the favorite at your house will do the trick) and apple slices. I put the peanut butter in a little serving cup and dish out a few crackers or apple slices and he's a happy camper.
- String Cheese
Yet another sneaky way to get some protein in. String cheese is a real hit for us - even Mommy and Daddy tend to snack on it after dinner. We typically choose a low-fat version, and I'll buy the organic option if it's on sale or I decide to throw caution to the wind and spend $5 on a bag of string cheese.
I have to admit, this is more of a Nana-thing in the Haven Gray Kids world. Mommy has good intentions, but I super hate cleaning the blender so I'm not likely to make a smoothie unless it's requested. However, if I weren't so lazy, smoothies are an amazingly healthy snack for kids when done right. Our favorite way to make them is with almond milk, frozen fruit, and yogurt - maybe add a little honey for extra sweetness if we're feeling crazy. Delicious and healthy in so many ways. Can't beat it!
- Organic Frozen Pancakes
My boys are completely obsessed with Earth's Best Frozen Organic Mini Blueberry Pancakes. I buy two boxes a week and we usually run out. They want them for breakfast every morning and for a snack throughout the day. The good news is these little pancakes aren't half bad - they're made with whole grains and are a good source of iron, zinc, and b vitamins. And apparently they're tasty enough that the kids never even ask for syrup or honey to go with them. Score!
- Turkey "Rollups"
This is a hilariously easy snack that for some reason is a hit around here. I buy a pound of thinly sliced turkey at the deli counter most weeks, and literally take a piece and roll it up in a long strip for a snack. That's it. Easy as can possibly be, relatively healthy, and again, protein. I even stick this in my Grayson's lunch for preschool as the "main course" at least once a week.
- Cottage Cheese
Now, this could just be my kid, but it's worth a shot! For some reason Grayson is a big fan of cottage cheese, which is totally fine by me. Protein, calcium, vitamins - you really can't go wrong here. If you think your kids will be skeptical, there are a couple of ways you can dress it up - occasionally we will add honey to ours, and there's always the option to add fruit. Give it a try!
- Cereal Bars
I think my kids would eat several of these a day if I would let them - their favorite (for the moment) seems to be Earth's Best Organic Strawberry Sunny Days Snack Bars. I know they love them because they're sweet, but they really are a pretty decent snack nutritionally so I feel pretty good about handing them over when they ask for one. According to their website, these bars are a great source of calcium, iron, zinc and six B vitamins - not too shabby! I keep our snack bags stocked with these at all times.
So there you have it! If your kids are getting bored with your normal snack options, try out a few of these - they never disappoint in this house. We would love for you to share your favorite toddler snacks in the comments - we're always looking to try new, healthy things around here!