Lucy has always been a really good eater, until lately. It’s not that she doesn’t eat a lot, she just likes to pick and graze all day, rather than eating a proper meal. Which is totally fine, but it has taken some adjusting on my part. I am a natural grazer myself, so it wasn’t too hard to adapt to these changes. The best way I’ve found, is to have snacks and mini meals planned out for several days. That way I make sure she’s getting all the food groups and nutrients she needs to grow properly.
I found this neat idea while browsing through Pinterest one day, to put a bunch of different finger food snacks in the cubicles of an ice try. Lucy really seems to enjoy it. I like it because it gives her a good variety of all the food groups, and helps me use up some of the leftover goodies we’ve got lying around the house. (You can read her full article on her blog here.) [www.themanylittlejoys.com]
Some of our favorite go to snacks to put in our tray are:
- Assortment of fruits
- Carrots with Ranch
- Celery with Peanut Butter
- Banana chips
- Dates (or Peanut Date bars from TJ’s)
- Dried Apricots or other dried fruit
- Deli Meats
- Cheese Sticks or spreadable cheese (such a Laughing Cow)
- Hard Boiled or Scrambled Eggs
- Granola Bites
- Goldfish Crackers
- Pretzel Sticks
- Plain Popcorn
- Dried Cereal
- PB&J Sandwiches (I use my own “uncrustable cutter” and she loves it)
- Tortilla Chips w/ Salsa
- Frozen waffles (plain or with Apple Butter)
- Fruit Snacks (Annie’s has really good organic ones)
- Applesauce Pouches (These can’t go in the tray obviously, but Lucy would eat ten of these a day if I let her!)
I really like the “tasting tray” idea because it gets her to eat more than usual. She isn’t the biggest fan of veggies (go figure), so I usually just give her some peas and corn which she likes. I’m always trying different veggies and methods of cooking and serving them, but few seem to make the cut. (If you have any tips on how to get your toddler to eat more veggies, send them my way!)
I love making smoothies for her, because I can sneak in a bunch of stuff she wouldn’t otherwise eat. You can see my daily smoothie recipe here. There are so many ways you can make smoothies, so have fun with it and see what your kid likes.
I sometimes like to treat her with some popsicles from time to time. It’s a special treat that she doesn’t get often, but she really enjoys them when she does. I make sure to get sugar free or ones with little sugar, and I especially like the ones that have veggies hidden in them! Outshine Fruit Bars have become one of our favorites brands.
A few other “special” snacks I give her sometimes are the animal crackers from Trader Joe’s (they have less sugar than regular animal crackers), graham crackers, and our homemade “Toddler Trail Mix“.
I’ve also been venturing into making more foods for Lucy. I haven’t had the chance to make too many yet, but I’ve got a whole bunch of awesome ideas on my Pinterest I’m excited to try someday. Check out my Pinterest board here and stay tuned for a future blog post about it! (Someday.)
What are some of your favorite snacks to give your kids? Are your kids big eaters or snackers like my Lucy? I love hearing from you! Like, comment and share!