Kristen asked: I have a question about snacks. Do you plan those in as well? Does your family snack? We are are big snackers here so I am always interested in finding healthier options for us!
Currently, we are actually not big snack eaters. It may be just the season we are in, Karis’ age, and the like. When I am pregnant it is definitely a different story (living off toasted English muffins with peanut butter- yum -12 grams of protein!), and as Karis gets older I am sure they will be increasing at our home! I believe it is important to definitely serve quality snacks, avoiding the abundance of pre-packaged snacks available at the grocery store, where the majority have very little nutrition and are expensive too!
I would encourage you to focus primarily on eating fruits and vegetables in the majority for a snack in various forms (fresh, smoothie, dried, fruit leather, popsicle, etc). Don’t buy special snacks or foods specifically for snacking, as it will be more nutritious and frugal to use things that are already on the grocery list for the most part (more staple items, that is). Strive for a balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein and fiber. This will ensure you maintain a stable blood sugar level, which is good for everyone involved. Good examples of this are celery with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, or tortilla chips and bean dip.
Homemade Crackers – a good quality and simple cracker recipe for everyone actually! If you cook them ashorter amount of time, they are soft and pliable and easily dissolve in an infants mouth. My only suggestion, if you plan to soak, don’t use yogurt! It yields a very sour cracker from my experience. Serve with cheese, hummus or bean dip for older ones.
Homemade Teething Cookies - A good recipe for the little one!
Cheerios – Obviously not the best choice, but when you got to keep the mess down – in the car or at church – a good organic whole grain cheerio is a lifesaver! They stretch a long way too.
Applesauce - this is our main choice right now for Karis!
Toddler & Up:
Cheese & Apples -Fruit and protein all the way!
Trail Mix - I love to munch on a quality trail mix, including pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, almonds, cashews and the like. Excellent protein and yummy!
Apples & Peanut butter - once again a good balance of fruit and protein!
Homemade bread – Karis loves little bits of homemade bread if she gets hungry. I have also saved pancakes from and kept them in the frig throughout the week to tear up for her. She loves it!
Crackers/Tortilla Chips/Pita Bread with Hummus -Vegetables can be served with dips like hummus, or bean dip. I am a huge fan of hummus – so that is another favorite treat with some quality chips.
Applesauce Bread or homemade muffin - another fun healthy treat!
Popcorn – a good snack for the evening, if you buy it whole popcorn rather than the packaged/microwave kind.
Stick to healthy drinks – water! Store bought drinks are normally loaded with an overabundance of sugar. I encourage avoiding the temptation if all possible! Make some homemade lemonade (use stevia or honey in replacement of sugar for a healthy treat!) if the temptation is too great for something different!
Simple & Nutritious Snacks for Kids - thanks to Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home for other ideas! She includes smoothies and using smoothies for popsicles – a wonderful idea! If you have a dyhdrator, her fruit leather recipe looks wonderful as well.
Super Baby Food has a whole appendix in the back of healthy snack recipes as well! Check it out at your local library!
Any other healthy snack ideas to share?