Healthy Snacks? — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Healthy Snacks?

So DD just started being picky and its making me batty.

She still eats fairly well for breakfast and dinner. Its just lunch and snacks that are kicking our tails.

Lunch she has been on an avocado and tomato kick for a while. I add a serving of cottage cheese for some protein, but other then that I worry about variety.

She loves veggies like water chestnuts, cubed carrots, corn and peas.

I'm thinking about cubing some fried tofu, because she won't eat meat. Pasta is always a go to, but I don't like it for the lack of real nutrients.

Should I just do what works? She gets Annie's bunny grams and cheese cubes for snacks. I am also thinking of adding Gold Fish.

She's not losing weight or anything, but I just want to make sure she gets some great nutrients. She won't eat beans.

I guess I'm just wondering what your LO's eat and if you worry as much about making sure the calories "count".

 


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Re: Healthy Snacks?

  • I do two snacks a day. One of them is something that meets a whole grain need (like some sort of cracker) and the other snack is fruit. We do clementines a lot this time of year since they're cheap.

    I try to fit in everything from the food pyramid on a daily basis. Veggies are great but are only one part.

    You can make a pasta lunch a lot more nutritious. They sell pasta that contains a serving of vegetables. You can make your own sauce and add vegetables to the base. Whole grain is an important part of a child's diet and pasta can meet that need.

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  • image KC_13:

    I do two snacks a day. One of them is something that meets a whole grain need (like some sort of cracker) and the other snack is fruit. We do clementines a lot this time of year since they're cheap.

    I try to fit in everything from the food pyramid on a daily basis. Veggies are great but are only one part.

    You can make a pasta lunch a lot more nutritious. They sell pasta that contains a serving of vegetables. You can make your own sauce and add vegetables to the base. Whole grain is an important part of a child's diet and pasta can meet that need.

    Thank you! She does like pasta or plain tomato sauce. I grate up veggies in it and try it over the spinach (green) or whole wheat pasta. Its messy, but I was just worried that doing that too often wouldn't work.

    She loves fruit. She'll eat the cuties, bananas, mangos. I don't have to fight her to eat those. Its just meat and beans. I've kind of given up with meat and beans, TBH.

    Thank you for your help!


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  • image MRoss1982:
    Greek yogurt has lots of protein. What about quesadillas with cheese and beans or grilled cheese?

    Thank you! DD is a cheese monster! She would eat cheese all day (or greek yogurt) if I let her. I might try to sneak beans in this way though. I haven't tried that yet. She likes grilled cheese! Good call.


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  • We have the same problem.  Just went to he pedi and she said that the growth curve tapers off and kids this age tend to eat less as a result, she said to follow his cues, because he knows his own body and not to force feed.  She said most kids eat a large breakfast, medium lunch and a little for dinner and says that's probably how we're supposed to eat, but we teach our kids the opposite.

     All that said, we try to offer applesauce, Greek yogurt, and pears or other fruit as a snack.  Our little guy does eat beans...but also loves peanut butter...you can also do almond or cashew or other butter as well for protein.  have you tried hummus? I steam apples too and put cinnamon on them...he likes that.

    We'll give ravioli or tortellini with spinach and kale...although it's a minimal amount, it's somthing.

    I'm noting the snacks you give for future use myself. :) Had never thought of cottage cheese.

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  • I'd say add in some protein into her snacks rather than using crackers. Maybe just give her beans. They are pretty clean and easy if they are just cooked and drained. I am not sure how old your DD was but peanut butter is a hit with DD. From a spoon, on slices of banana or pieces of whole grain bread also does the trick. Have you tried eggs too? My daughter loves boiled egg whites (she can't stomach the yolk though with issues on the texture). I'd think those cubed veggies are a great snack idea too, not just for mealtime. Good luck! 

    ETA: Aw, sorry, I didn't read she wasn't a fan of beans. Maybe puree them into sauces or between quesadillas could work.  

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  • image PrimRoseMama:
    image KC_13:

    I do two snacks a day. One of them is something that meets a whole grain need (like some sort of cracker) and the other snack is fruit. We do clementines a lot this time of year since they're cheap.

    I try to fit in everything from the food pyramid on a daily basis. Veggies are great but are only one part.

    You can make a pasta lunch a lot more nutritious. They sell pasta that contains a serving of vegetables. You can make your own sauce and add vegetables to the base. Whole grain is an important part of a child's diet and pasta can meet that need.

    Thank you! She does like pasta or plain tomato sauce. I grate up veggies in it and try it over the spinach (green) or whole wheat pasta. Its messy, but I was just worried that doing that too often wouldn't work.

    She loves fruit. She'll eat the cuties, bananas, mangos. I don't have to fight her to eat those. Its just meat and beans. I've kind of given up with meat and beans, TBH.

    Thank you for your help!

    My kids weren't always big meat eaters. What I found they would almost always eat were ground meat. It's easier to eat than a piece of chicken or pork. I mostly use ground turkey or chicken for recipes vs using ground beef everyday. 

    You can do a lot with it too--I usually make a 2lb meatloaf with ground turkey/veggies in the recipe and use that during the week. Tacos is another good choice. I break up corn tortillas and let the kids dip them in a mix of meat/cheese/refried beans/avocado.

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  • Snacks in our house tend to be: cheese, fruit, yogurt, dry cereal (Kix, Special K, Cheerios or Chex)

    Snacks on the go: crackers, freeze dried fruit

    Reese unfortunately doesn't like most protein or veggies.  

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  • I don't try too add calories. I aim for one fruit and one protein/whole grain snacks grapes, berries, pears. Cheerios, home baked pumpkin or banana bread, yogurt. Am trying to get hummus in but so far not a fan.
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  • I don't like "empty" snacks like cheerios and crackers and things like that. I try to offer yogurt, cheese, veggies or fruit. Basically, some fat and protein and veggies or fruit.

    ETA: in the interest of full disclosure, I don't believe in eating the amount of grains and legumes recommended by the government, so that totally taints what I feed DD. I don't really see much nutrition in grain products like cheerios and crackers. We get plenty of fiber and vitamins and minerals from a huge variety of vegetables, nuts, etc.

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  • image MRoss1982:
    Greek yogurt has lots of protein. What about quesadillas with cheese and beans or grilled cheese?

    This! My kiddo isn't a huge fan of most meats either (I really think it's a texture thing for their age) and She gets a quisidilla a few times a week as a way to pack in some protein.  We put refried beans (read the labels! some have lard!), cheese, some guacamole, and a tiny bit of salsa (usually just the soupy part, dd loves the tomato flavor)....I just do them in the microwave to melt everything and then cut it into strips with a pizza cutter or kitche shears. I'll smear a little sour cream on the strips sometimes (when I don't mind the mess) for some added fat content.

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  • image RayRay007:

    I don't like "empty" snacks like cheerios and crackers and things like that. I try to offer yogurt, cheese, veggies or fruit. Basically, some fat and protein and veggies or fruit.

    ETA: in the interest of full disclosure, I don't believe in eating the amount of grains and legumes recommended by the government, so that totally taints what I feed DD. I don't really see much nutrition in grain products like cheerios and crackers. We get plenty of fiber and vitamins and minerals from a huge variety of vegetables, nuts, etc.

    Amen to the bolded!! 

    We actually would prefer no snacks at all, just 3 meals a day (our pedi recommended this when I mentioned she was picky).  Unfortunately, she's at DC & we don't get home until nearly 6pm most nights, so that is a long time to go before dinner, so whatever, she gets a snack at school that usually is something terrible like graham crackers but we have to let that one go.  She's also old enough now that even if I sent her in with a piece of fruit, she'd see the other kids eating graham crackers and want one.  And it totally affects her eating - most weeknights she just picks at her dinner.  On weekends we stick to 3 meals and no snacks, and she eats MUCH better/less picky then.

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  • Try adding beans like chick peas, pinto beans or northern beans in the pasta sauce that you make. I also add some boiled mixed veggies to my LO's pasta, makes it more balanced. HTH.
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  • Lately my son has been obsessed with frozen vegetables (I think because he's teething), so we've been giving him them for snacking - frozen slices of bell pepper, frozen peas, and frozen corn (those last ones he only gets if I'm with him, watching him since they're perfect for choking - he has never choked yet, but because they're hard they make me more vigilant)

    I also give him homemade apple or pear sauce (so I can control the amount of sugar), hummus and pita, and yogurt for snacks. 

    Yesterday he had apple slices as his daycare snack and then he came home and was hungry so he had some broccoli with melted cheese, and then some frozen corn.

    For lunch I pack him the same thing I pack DH and I, but he eats meat, tofu, and beans.  Today he had a wrap with hummus, spinach, carrots, cheese, and pesto along with some lentil soup. 

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