We’ve been on a rampage lately. Not to get the kids to pick up their socks, put the toilet seat down, or call if they’ll be out past ten (just kidding). We’ve resolved to find some healthy snacks. We thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Whoops. I will never forget my first outing to a ‘special event’ when Thomas the Train was in Squamish, and I took my 1 year old to see him. I actually remembered diapers that day, but forgot the snacks. I thought I’d be fine to purchase something. After combing the grounds, I found cotton candy, chips, and mini doughnuts.
I am now on a mission to support the events and restaurants that offer food for children other than hotdogs. I also want to have lots in my cupboards to pack in reusable containers. Not only is it often healthier, but better for the environment. Why must we buy juice boxes and toss them when filling a cool kid-friendly bottle saves garbage? Are ziplocks really necessary when you could use a sandwich wrap instead? I digress. Healthy snacks. As always, you want to be careful of choking with the tiny kids, and also ensure that anything with mayo, meat or cheese is appropriately refrigerated. If you are sending the snacks to an environment with other children, try to refrain from the nutty ones. You know the drill – after all, you’re a mom (and I bet you wouldn’t have forgotten the snacks like I did).
1. cut up bulk cheese into cubes. This sounds like a no-brainer, but I have seen many a child who will only consume expensive string cheese with wasteful packaging.
2. make popcorn and bring it with. There are great microwave brands out there that are plain – without butter – and just as tasty. We even ventured into the old-fashioned world the other day and popped it in an actual pot. On the stove. With a bit of olive oil. (You can actually do that?)
3. Buy tubs (not tubes) of yoghurt and divvy it up in cute tupperware.
4. Hummus and pita. You can make your own hummus by throwing into a blender or food processor:
- 1 16 oz can of chickpeas
- 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
- 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
5. Cheerios or Whole Wheat Wheaties – perfect size for tiny hands.
7. Carrot sticks – if you don’t have time, just buy the peeled baby carrots.
8. Last night’s flat crust pizza cut into ‘bites’.
9. Make Dad and Toddler Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (courtesy of www.dad-camp.com):
There’s nothing dangerous about this recipe, mix the wet and dry ingredients separately, then mash them together and stick ‘em in a pan in the oven. You don’t need any electrical appliances and, most importantly, you don’t need any skill. That makes this the perfect daddy / toddler time recipe.
Toddler/Dad Friendly Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Preheat oven to 350
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Mix the wet and dry separately. Then combine together and pour in a loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 F.
9. Make a fruit smoothie and freeze it in a small tub. By the time it melts, you can serve it with a spoon at the park.
10. Kid’s Special Trail Mix
- 4 c Chex cereal
- 1/2 c Dried fruit bits
- 1/2 c Raisins
- 1/2 c peanuts
- 1/2 c M & Ms
– Jill Amery is the CEO of UrbanMommies and is trying to be a bit more healthy herself.