As our toddler gets older, and now that she’s had her fair share of sweets, it seems that her appetite for veggies and protein has dwindled significantly. To be honest, if she had it her way, she’d live off of PB&J sandwiches, juice, oreo cookies, pizza, milk, strawberry smoothies (packed with sugar) and anything with ketchup (loads of ketchup!). Getting Mia to eat anything aside from this is becoming a bit challenging.
Rather than just caving in and letting her eat unhealthy meals and snacks, I’ve had to get creative and purchase snacks that are new, attractive and taste good all while making sure they are healthier of coarse. Here are my top 6 snacks at the moment. I’ve broken the list into two parts; snacks that can be made at home and snacks for on-the-go.
Snacks At Home
Organic Kale Chips: Such an easy and nutritious snack! High in fiber, iron, vitamin K and an antioxidant. Mia loves the crunchy texture and we serve them to her with a homemade honey orange dressing on the side. She loves to dip the chips into the dressing. Note: I prefer using organic lacinato kale (also know as Tuscan Kale) as it has a blue-green hue and tends to be thicker then for example baby kale.
Just cut and remove the kale stems using kitchen shears. Cut kale into small 1″-2″ squares. Wash and dry kale. Make sure it’s completely dry. Toss it into a bowl along with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil) and sprinkle some sea salt. Arrange a single layer onto a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 8 minutes or until crispy.
Organic hummus with thin pretzels: Enough said. Mia loves dipping her pretzels into the hummus. Delicioso!
Baked Sweet Potato Chips: These chips are loaded with vitamins B6, C, D and iron. Simply cut sweet potato into thin slices. Arrange slices in a single layer onto a cookie sheet. Spray a little extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil) and sprinkle some sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. Be sure to turn them around half way so that both sides get crispy.
Fruits: Clearly fresh organic fruits are best but lets be honest, if you are on the go, the last thing you need is for your little nugget to get blueberry and strawberry juice stains all over their oh so cute white new shirt! Dried fruits are less messy and yummy but did you know most contain tons of added sugar?! Plus they are so hard for our bodies to digest.
According to The Dry Facts On Dried Food by Cindi O’Meara, “For these foods to be properly digested and assimilated by our bodies, it’s important to add water. If water isn’t added before you eat dried fruit, then your body has to add the water when the fruit reaches your stomach. This can dehydrate the body, and means by the time the dried fruit has become a real food again, it’s already on its way out of your body before it can do any good.”
Instead go for the freeze dried fruits with no additives. We love Trader Joe’s freeze dried strawberries, raspberries and blueberries at a little over $3 a bag. We also prefer buying the organic freeze dried Strawberries sold at Whole Foods but they are a bit pricier naturally as they are organic.Raw Cashews: According to The Health Diaries, cashews are “good sources of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect us from heart disease and cancer.” They Health Diaries also mention that cashews are rich in magnesium and mineral copper which are great for keeping our bones, skin and hair healthy. Plus, they are dense in energy and high in fiber. The best of both worlds!
Baked Green Peas: The Inner Peas from Trader Joe’s are a healthier alternative to regular chips as they have whole green peas in them. Chips with veggies? Yes please!
I’d love to hear from other mom’s as to what healthy snacks their little ones enjoy eating. I’m definitely open to adding new items onto our list!
Cheers to eating healthier snacks!