Snack time got you down? Here are a few tips to make snack time a little easier, as well as 24 snack ideas perfect for children!
Thanks to General Mills Marketing, Inc. for sponsoring today’s post! All opinions are 100% my own.
Who doesn’t love snack time? I know that it makes our day go a little less hectic when we incorporate little snacks during the day. I’ve always heard that it’s better to eat frequent, small meals throughout the day, rather than just three large ones…and I think there’s some definitely truth in that statement. Especially when a hungry kid is involved. Or a mommy who tends to get cranky when she doesn’t eat often (not me, of course.)
I always looked forward to my “after school snack” when I could come home after school. My mom would always have something sitting out. It wasn’t usually something fancy, but it always was nice that she was able to do that. Especially since the time between lunch and when I got home always seemed like forever!
Unfortunately, I’m not the best at coming up with snack ideas for my own little toddler – and really, granola bars get a little old after awhile. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of toddler friendly snack ideas, as well as share a few tips for making snack time easier. I’d love to hear any tips you have!
1. Make it Simple
Snack time doesn’t have to be a huge meal. It just should be something to tide your child over from one meal to the next. When I was growing up, we’d often have apples with caramel dip, crackers, or simple items like that. Don’t stress yourself up trying to come up with grand ideas that take all day to plan – it will all be eaten in a matter of minutes, anyways! Which brings me to my next point . . .
2. Avoid High Expectations
Sometimes it’s fun to create themed snacks (like these butterscotch egg nests in the spring). I certainly enjoy doing things like that! However, to avoid unnecessary stress – make these an exception, not the rule. Some people may enjoy making elaborate treats every day, and that’s totally great. But if you don’t want to do that, then just do simple snacks, like I mentioned before.
2. Make it Consistent
I don’t know about you, but Jack always seems to be begging me to give him something to eat (even if he’s not really hungry.) Since we’ve started trying to have a regular snack time (right after nap), it’s eliminated the constant begging for food. By teaching your child when they will be getting a snack, it’s something they can anticipate.
I think treats are fine every now and then – I know I sometimes enjoy having cookies for a snack. However, I think it’s important to be aware of what you are giving your child and making sure they have a well-balanced diet. Try to make snack choices for your child that are made with natural flavors, colors and ingredients. For instance, I really enjoy fruit snacks! However, not all fruit snacks have the best ingredients in them. We recently discovered Mott’s® Fruity Centers and Fruity Rolls fruit flavored snacks, and I’m a big fan. They are made with natural flavors and colors, and they give you 100% of your daily value of Vitamin C! Snack time doesn’t have to be only foods that are chockful of nutrients, but you can make an effort to choose snacks that have some nutrition in them. You can make simple swaps that will make a big difference!
4. Finger Foods
I love feeding Jack finger foods, because 1) he can feed himself and 2) he enjoys it more than using a fork. When your child is younger, it’s especially important to make sure their food is small enough so they don’t choke and finger foods are great for this. Fruit snacks (such as Mott’s® Fruity Centers), are easy for kids to eat and don’t make a big mess. We also love chopping up fruits and vegetables so they are easier to eat.
5. Involve your child
Let your child help you prepare snack time! When they are old enough to be able to spread peanut butter – let them! Have them help you pour them a glass of milk, place the dried cranberries on a celery stick, or unwrap the wrapper on the food. Kids love to help, and I truly believe that when they are involved in the preparation/cooking process, they are more likely to eat the food. You can start giving your child simple tasks at young ages, and it can make snack time more fun! Something as simple as letting them choose the snack can make a difference (unless, of course, all they want is candy. Then I’d give them a choice between three snacks. Kids love making their own choices.)
6. Easy to transport & dispose of
This is especially important if you are going to a play date, the park, the zoo, etc., and you are bringing a snack! You don’t want to make a big mess and have to worry about cleaning it up. Fruit snacks and fruit rolls are great, since they are in their own, disposable bags. We love our snack catcher for smaller snacks, like cheerios, so they don’t get all over the place. Of course, sippy cups are essential too. When you are out and about, the simpler and easier to clean up something is…the better!
Simple Snack Ideas
Cheese (string cheese, little squares of cheese, cubed cheese, etc.)
Sliced fruit (just make sure it’s not too hard or big if you are doing this for a young child.)
Mott’s Fruity Centers and Mott’s Fruity Rolls
Tortilla pinwheels (lunch meat and cheese wrapped in a tortilla and then sliced)
Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, other soft fruits (perhaps with ranch dressing)
Bean and cheese quesadillas (on whole grain tortillas)
Celery with peanut butter (dried cranberries or raisins on top for an added surprise)
Crackers or chips with hummus or guacamole
Toast with avocado spread on top
Peanut butter and graham crackers
Whole grain waffles (frozen or fresh)
Berries with yogurt
Banana Swirl (frozen bananas blended up – tastes like ice cream!)
Fun Child Friendly Snack Ideas
Or if you are looking for some items that are a little less traditional, here are some fun, child-friendly snack ideas.
Here are 24 fun snack ideas for children:
First of all, here’s a fun snack idea we came up with using Mott’s Fruity Rolls. Just spread a layer of peanut butter and then roll it up. For younger children, you can slice it up into smaller pieces so it is easier to eat. If you want to make it a little more substantial, you can wrap it all up in tortilla. Forrest really enjoyed those ones 😉
Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips by It’s Yummi
Creamy Almond Brown Rice Pudding by An Edible Mosaic
Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Bars by The Redhead Baker
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding Cups by Melanie Makes
Honey Granola Bites by Mother’s Niche
Peanut Butter & Strawberry Snack by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Sugared Wonton Crackers with Yogurt & Honey by Very Culinary
No Bake Veggie Pizzas and Wraps by Two Healthy Kitchens
No Bake Granola Bites by Like Mother Like Daughter
Whole Wheat & Cheddar Crackers by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Frozen Banana Bites by Rhubarb and Honey
Peanut Butter Cup Chia Seed Pudding by The Housewife in Training Files
Trader Joes Copycat Cat Gone Bananas By The View from Great Island
Peanut Butter Boysenberry Bars by The View from Great Island
No Bake Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter Bites by Joyful HealthyEats
Prune & Peanut Butter Apple Snacks by The Kitchen is my Playground
Dulce Quesadilla by A Cedar Spoon
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars by Back for Seconds
Homemade Goldfish Crackers by Cooking with Jax
Homemade Graham Crackers by Cupcake Project
Healthy and Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
No Bake Fruit Pizzas by Two Healthy Kitchens
Nutella Greek Yogurt Dip by The Kitchen is my Playground