Going on a road trip or spending a day out at the park or beach? Try bringing a variety of snacks for your toddler!
Toddlers have little tummies that fill up quickly, and they are very active, so they quickly burn calories. To keep your hungry toddler happy, offering small servings of healthy snack choices is the trick. Use ice cube trays with a lid to have snacks “at the ready” any time of day!
The concept is simple. At the beginning of each day, fill up the compartments of a tray with healthy snack choices. Place the lid on it and store it in your cooler. When your toddler asks for a snack, simply take the tray out and place it on the table. Let your little one choose which snack foods they want. When they are done, put the cover back on and it’s back in the cooler to wait for the next request.
Using a snacking tray teaches your toddler to make choices, offers them plenty of variety and makes it easy and convenient for you to answer ever so common cry of “I'm hungry!”
Healthy snacks ideas for your toddler snack tray:
Applesauce, broccoli trees, brown rice crisps, carrots, cauliflower trees, cereal, cheese cubes, cheerios, cut fresh vegetables, dried fruits or raisins, fresh fruit pieces, granola, hummus, meat or tofu cubes, ranch dressing or dip, whole grain crackers, whole wheat pretzels and yogurt.
Best Ever Granola :
Oatmeal is not just for making hot cereal. You can use it to make this great granola.
4 cups of old-fashioned oats
1 cup Cheerios
½ cup chopped pecans or almonds
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
Directions: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats, Cheerios, pecans, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan, warm the oil and honey. Stir in the vanilla. Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the mixture is evenly coated.
Spread the granola onto a large cookie sheet (15 X 10 X 1 inch). Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Stir in raisins or dried cranberries.
Dusted Tofu Cubes
These nutritious, little cubes are fun to pick up and they taste good too! For a little variety, you can use banana instead of tofu.
· 1-2 tablespoons of Cheerios (or other cereal) OR 2-3 graham crackers
· 5-6 1/2-inch cubes of firm tofu
Place cereal/graham crackers in a bag and crush into crumbs. Add tofu and shake lightly to coat the tofu cubes with the crumb mixture. Serve immediately.
Age to introduce: 8-10 months
Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com.