We have gone through a lot of snack ideas in our house, and we have found a lot of keepers. It was really difficult in the beginning when I did not know much about whole foods or how to buy, prepare, and use them.
But today I have a 2-year-old who loves vegetables, two very healthy little girls, and one older young girl we are still working with. She is very, very picky, and when left to her own devices, she will live on fruit and bread. Even in her case, though, I have discovered that she likes a few vegetables, but they must be served raw.
Good nutrition is one of the most important things you can provide children with, and it will help set up their future eating, health, and food preparation habits too. What a gift to give to children.
Almost everyone knows the health benefits of yogurt these days. I prefer unsweetened, full-fat varieties. There are many schools of thought, but I go by what is closest to a food’s natural state. If your child doesn’t like it unsweetened, add a bit of honey or serve it with fruit.
2. Brown Rice Cakes
My favorite version of this snack is unsalted brown rice cakes spread with butter and honey. Then I sprinkle cinnamon on top. Yum!
3. Fruit Salad
This can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Most kids love a simple orange, apple, banana fruit salad, which only takes a few minutes to prepare. They also usually love to help make it. Even if they are clumsy or make a mess, let them! Younger kids can slice bananas with a plastic knife.
I love to squeeze half an orange over the finished fruit salad for a nicer texture. Also try adding walnuts, or create a simple cream to mix in by blending fresh orange juice with raw, soaked cashews and dates.
4. Meat and Cheese Roll-Ups
Choose a deli meat that is organic, preservative-free, or at least nitrate and nitrite-free. Spread cream cheese on a slice, and then roll it up. The cream cheese will stick, creating a hearty little finger-food that will make little tummies feel full and satisfied. You can also make more than one layer.
5. Homemade Trail Mix
This snack has an endless number of varieties. Our family’s current favorite is dried cranberries, cashews, almonds, coconut flakes, raw cacao nibs, pistachios, raisins, and sea salt. Try to avoid adding processed foods like milk chocolate and candy. And if you use dried fruits, try to find varieties without added sugar.
6. Frozen-Fruit Ice Cream
In a good blender or an auger juicer, just blending up frozen fruit creates a beautiful, smooth ice cream treat. You don’t even need to add any dairy or cream, but cream, ice, and frozen fruit also creates a delicious whole-food treat.
You don’t need any sweeteners at all! If you do want to make it even sweeter, though, try blending it with honey or soaked dates.
Try cutting it into different shapes and sizes, or use string cheese. Try different varieties too. Also, keep in mind that dairy products are one of the most important things to buy organic because of the hormones and antibiotics used on cows.
If your child is lactose-intolerant or has a milk allergy, go with a non-soy cheese replacement.
8. Hard-Boiled Eggs
This is another classic food that your grandparents probably ate. Don’t overlook this snack option, though, as most kids enjoy them, and eggs have a lot of nutrients and protein.
If your kid is unsure about eating these, try slicing them. That one simple step can make the difference for some kids.
9. Chopped Chicken Breast
This is a great snack if you have leftover chicken from other meals. It even tastes great cold! Most kids like it chopped into cubes. You can also serve it with organic ketchup (preferably made without sugar or sugar substitutes), or make your own in a blender.
10. Juice Popsicles
These are a great treat to make with kids. All you need are some popsicle molds, which you can buy in any grocery store, and some fresh fruits to juice. Maybe you can even sneak in some vegetables! Just make your juice, pour it in the molds, and freeze. Enjoy when they are fully frozen.
I hope you love all of these snacks and come up with many more of your own great, family treats!
Fae Frazier Price is the mother of three children. She is a stay-at-home mom and avid writer. You can follow her writing at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fae-Frazier-Price-author/291960120853806
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