Mommy | RD approved Tot-Friendly Snacks

Every time I think about time I get a little emotional. Next month will mark three years since we found out we were pregnant with our little pumpkin. Three years! And now I have a two year old. How does this happen?

In honor of this rapidly evolving and quickly passing season in our lives, I’m starting a new series on the blog that’s dedicated to feeding little mouths from babies to tots and on, even including prenatal and breastfeeding tips as well.

Since my daughter is now two and providing the healthiest snacks possible is always on the top of my brain, I’m sharing my mommy | dietitian-approved tot-friendly snacks.  All our perfect for traveling whether you’re headed to the beach or just a day trip to the zoo.

kiddie snacks

 

I’ll start by always going back to the fact that nothing can replace whole, natural, raw foods like vegetables and fruits and these are the ideal and perfect snacks- for all of us, not just kids!

But let’s be real, life is crazy. We are stressed, busy, and tired- to say the least.  And it doesn’t help that kids, even the youngest ones, can be easily influenced {or jealous} when they see what their peers are eating. So when it comes to offering only the healthy options to toddlers, life can get in the way, and often easily stray us from our healthy intentions.

That’s where these items come in. They may be packaged and slightly processed, but if they make offering healthier options to your little mouths easy and enjoyable, and also provide some nutrition at the same time! That’s a win- win!

It also helps get my mommy & RD seal of approval when there isn’t any artificial colors or preservatives, there’s only a handful (or less) of ingredients, and these are as simple as can be!

  1. Siggi’s Yogurt Tubes | I love strained yogurt for it’s many benefits including calcium, probiotics, + protein! I also love that this brand has very little added sugars, and while I’d prefer none and really only offered plain varieties to LEM until she was about 18 months, I also needed an option for daycare and I knew the other kids would be eating flavored varieties. That’s where these yogurt tubes are great; their portable, nutritios, and LEM loves them! If you’re at home, pour it into a bowl and have them use a spoon, but if you’re traveling thier compact and versatite.
  2. String Cheese |  This one didn’t enter into our options until fairly recently. My daughter loves cheese {loves loves loves} but she’s hit or miss with string cheese. It’s an option I’ll offer for especially for traveling to get in some nutrients like calcium and protein, and if she won’t eat it, at least I will!
  3. Larabar |  I love this brand for little ones because you can find varieties that are nothing more than fruit and nuts- super wholesome and nourishing! So rather than giving her a bar that’s loaded with sugar, I love that there’s no sugar added and just simple wholesome ingredients! It’s also fun for her to eat, and perfect for grab and go when needed!  We like the blueberry flavor best, but any unsweetened varieties get our check of approval!
  4. Barbara’s Snackimals |  Even my husband likes these cookies, so that’s really saying something when you can get your picky “I don’t like whole grains” hubby to eat something the little one will eat! I love these because they taste good, their whole grains, and they are a great alternative to graham crackers, animal crackers, or even vanilla wafers {all of which are popular, but not-so-healthy snacks for littles}. These do contain some added sugar, but I’ll take a cookie that mimics others, but that’s truly 100% whole grains- trust me, that’s hard to find! These are also great because they are individually portioned which is perfect for little hands!
  5. Van’s Cheese Crackers | These are one of the first items I found for LEM when we we’re starting snacks at daycare. I love that they like cheese-itz or goldfish, but 100% whole grains {also happen to be gluten free for those that need it} and they taste great! These are another that my hubby will eat! So rather than buying Annie’s cheddar bunnies that are nothing more than enriched flour, pick these instead!
  6. Cheerios | I love Cheerios, specifically plain Cheerios – only 1 gram of sugar, as they are finger-friendly, few ingredients, wholesome whole grains. Think outside of breakfast here for a versatile snack on it’s own for traveling or mix it with other items for a fun mommy-made ‘trail mix’.
  7. No sugar added applesauce | We buy these in the cups or the pouches and have them on hand for when life calls. The key is to get no sugar varieties, and if you buy the GoGo Squeez pouches, try to incorporate the ones with veggies also mixed in like carrots, beets, etc. just for some added nutrients from those veggies with even less -albeit natural- sugars. And if you’re in the car, the pouches can keep everything clean and allow some indepence, but you can always pour the contents into a bowl and work on hand eye coordination with a spoon.
  8. Bare Apple Chips | I love these nothing-more-than-dehydrated-apple-slices as a way to incorporate apples, not offer chips, and still get wholesome goodness. My daughter does’t love these so much, but nutritionally I do so, we offer them. I’ve been mixing them in our homemade travel trail mix and right now she picks them out – or even gives them to the dogs- but I’ve learned that could change one day! So until then, I’ll be patient.
  9. Simply Balanced Fruit Strips |  These are another one that my daughter isn’t too keened on. She’s probably only eaten them 1/3 of the time, but I like them as a little treat so we get them occasionally! These are 100% healthier than your standard fruit snacks, fruit strips, or another other fruit-like sugar laden kid friendly snack. These Simply Balance strips are just dehydrated fruits with no added sugar! They fun, portable, tasty and nutritious! So they are approved for age-appropriate tots!

I’ll say it again, this list is not an excuse to not offer or have wholesome fruits and veggies available. These just make life manageable, tasty, and fun all while providing valuable nutrients to little ones and adults alike!

While I’d love nothing more than to make everything from scratch, only offer snacks of yogurt, fruits, and veggies, I’m thankful as a working mom that I have the next best items available. Life handed me a curve ball when we had to have some flexibility and alternatives when we started daycare and while it’s been challenging and frustrating at times, I’m grateful for the learning experience. I’ve found some better-for-you products that I can share with you!

xo,

Becca

 

 

 

 

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