On this page, we can all contribute any snack ideas that work for our children. Please keep in mind that the Moms at our meetings have children of many different ages, so you can decide for yourself if your child is old enough for each snack. Many of the ideas are for young children, since this is the age most of us have at home with us. These early years are very important for establishing food likes and dislikes, so if we can find ways to get the children to eat a variety of foods, they will be healthier eaters for their entire lives.
These are ideas from the Leaders’ recipe files, as well as from files of Moms who have attended our meetings. We would love to have new ideas, so feel free to contribute your own snack ideas and recipes in the “comments” section, below and we will add it to the page.
There were only three of us at that first meeting, when Jen started the group in August 2011, and now look how we’ve grown! Nearly twenty moms come to each meeting, and our group has helped dozens (and dozens, and dozens!)! We often discuss children’s eating habits and nutrition at our meetings. Here are some ideas from the founding members of our chapter of LLL.
- Beth says, “Here’s a link to a great recipe for roasted chick peas. The only difference is that I “dry roast” mine, without the olive oil. I’ve done with and without and they are good both ways, just a little crispier without! Curry and garlic powder is a spice combo Brady (at age 3) really likes them.”
- Beth also gives Brady frozen veggies (right from the freezer– still frozen) as a snack! She says he loves spinach this way.
- Natalie makes a wonderful winter squash recipe in the microwave. She says you can use acorn or butternut squash, and she adds some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the mixture. Both her husband and son love it, and she started serving it when her little one was about 15 months old.
Here are some more ideas that many moms have found helpful for encouraging healthy eating for the whole family:
- You have probably heard of the trick of turning fruits and vegetables into funny faces and animals using raisins, currants, and peanut butter. It is a great way to make a snack more enticing and convince little ones to eat more fruits and vegetables. If you need ideas, a quick search online for “Creative fruit and vegetable snacks for kids” will yield lots of recipes and images. Also try searching for “Healthy snacks for kids.” If you find anything that works for you, post it here!
- Cookie Dough Dip: This is my (Jen’s) little guy’s all-time favorite snack. We had it at Beth’s house once, and she had us try it and then guess what the ingredients were. The only thing I could figure out was peanut butter, but it also has garbanzo beans and dates, believe it or not! We serve this with apple slices at our house, and we skip adding the chocolate chips. My son often requests it just with a spoon, which is fine with me, since he is getting tons of good stuff in every bite!
- Snickerdoodle Dip: Combine plain yogurt (Greek works great, but regular would work too) and sprinkle a bunch of cinnamon in it. It doesn’t taste like cookies, but I (Jen) found that if I give any dip a fun name, it makes most toddlers dip and eat lots more fruit than they normally would.
- Dill Dip: Here’s one for the veggies. Again, take some greek yogurt (or regular plain yogurt( and add as much dill as you want. I (Jen) use dried dill all the time, and it tastes like fresh in this dip. For babies just starting solids and those unable to chew hard vegetables, steam things like sticks of carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes for a few minutes until tender enough for them to eat. Spears of avocado work great too, and we have also done cheddar and other hard cheeses cut into sticks or shapes (use any cookie cutters you want).
- Smoothies! Combine plain yogurt, frozen fruit, and as much milk as you need to get the right consistency. Sometimes we make it thicker and eat it with a spoon, like frozen yogurt or ice cream! Our favorite fruits to use are bananas (slice after freezing), strawberries (add a touch of honey, if desired), mangoes, and cherries (again, a little honey is great). Lots of Moms have found ways to really boost their smoothies by adding things like Kale (steamed or fresh), wheat germ, and flax seeds. Once it’s blended in, you don’t taste these add-ins, though the Kale does turn the smoothie green. Come up with a fun name for it for kids who don’t embrace green foods. Something like “Froggy smoothie” or “Caterpillar Cooler” might just work!
Please share any snack ideas you have used and loved in your own house.