One of my friends (who has twins!) recently asked me to write a post about snacks. Here are some ideas for healthful snack ideas for your babies, toddlers and kids. Note that for babies and toddlers who are around one and have recently transitioned off of breast milk or formula, snacks should have dairy in order to replace what they’re no longer getting from breast milk or formula. Dairy is very important for their physical development, particularly their brain.
What about snack/food pouches? Personally, I try to avoid pouches. It is not ideal for children to suck food out of a pouch. It does nothing to develop their eating skills or mouth muscles and it’s rather mindless. A pouch here and there is okay in moderation, but I would advise against making pouches a regular part of your child's diet. Many have added salt, sugar and preservatives. It’s always best for babies, toddlers and kids (and even adults!) to have fresh food with maximum nutritional value.
- String cheese or a cheese stick (cheddar, mozzarella, Colby jack, etc.) with some fruit, like a few pear slices, a few apple slices or some berries
- A few slices of cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Colby jack, etc.) with some fruit
- Yogurt (we use FAGE 2% plain or FAGE Total) with some fruit
- A hardboiled egg (or eggs in any other style) and some fruit
- An egg muffin
- A muffin - some of my current favorites are sweet potato, Paleo blender, spinach banana, 5-ingredient banana bread and GF banana oatmeal
- Bell pepper slices, baby carrots / carrot sticks, cucumber wedges or slices, green beans or any other vegetable with hummus, baba ghanouj, yogurt or another dip
- Our favorite green beans are haricot verts from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods because they are thin and sweet; I blanch them in boiling water for 3 minutes and then rinse them well in cold water to prevent them from cooking further
- Whole-milk cottage cheese with some fruit
- Rice cracker or rice thins with peanut butter, cream cheese, hummus or any other spread on top
- Rice thins are better for younger babies and toddlers, as they are easier to bite and chew. We love Lundberg Farms' Thin Stackers, which come in several yummy flavors like 5-Grain, Brown Rice (Salt-Free) and and Red Rice & Quinoa.
- A fruit and/or vegetable smoothie with yogurt and/or milk at the base, like my Peach Smoothie
What are some of your favorite snacks for your babies, toddlers and kids? Please share them in the comments!