Friday, March 27, 2009

healthy snacks - preschool edition

I don't know about your kids, but mine has made up his mind about what he likes, and what he doesn't.  He doesn't even need to taste something to know his aversions.  While we encourage him to try new things, it's hard to talk to a two year old logically about the benefits of eating carrots. This can make mealtime frustrating.  Anyone else been there?

I used to stand in front of the fridge and think, "What in the world should I feed him?"  I decided to sit down and make a list of the things I know he likes (it actually was a lot longer than I thought it'd be).  That made mealtime a lot simpler.

But I also needed to get creative.  So I wanted to share some snack ideas that have gone over well, and they are sneakily healthy.  

Smoothies.  He would drink one everyday and they come together in less than 5 minutes.  I start with about 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of fruit (usually 1/2 of a banana and some frozen berries), one teaspoon of nut butter, a teaspoon of wheat germ and some kind of vegetable.  This week it was 3-4 florets of raw cauliflower.  Sometimes it's a few tablespoons of frozen spinach.  The trick letting it blend for 3-4 minutes so that it is smooth and velvety and no veggies are detected.  

Avocado and cottage cheese.  Protein, vitamins, and calcium.  This is a power pack.  Add a teaspoon of wheat germ for an extra boost.  He won't even try cottage cheese on it's own, but if I mash it up with 1/2 an avocado, it's gone in a flash.  

Monkey Sandwich.  This one is pretty obvious, but the name is what appeals the most to my kiddo.  Whole wheat bread (crusts removed, if need be), organic peanut butter + thinly sliced banana.  Protein, potassium, fiber - and it's a naturally sweet treat!

I have more to share, but first - what works for your kids?  Are they picky or will they eat whatever you put in front of them?  What tricks do you have up your sleeve?


thamesarino said...

great idea with the sneaky smoothies! I am pretty lucky and my kids will eat a lot of different stuff... but one of my favorite things to make, during a particularly rough nutrition week, is to make veggie bread/muffins. When I make carrot/zuchinni muffins with whole wheat flour/ground flax seeds/wheat germ/appleasauce instead of oil... well they end up being pretty good for you AND chock full of fiber and a good dose of veggies too! Plus the kids eat them up, no complaints! My other trick is too have homemade veggie stock in the fridge(I make it weekly with scraps) to use as the water in anything I make for them. I have even snuck some into juice(if it's mild), as an extra boost of veggie goodness. : )

Who am I? said...

Love it! I am going to try all of the above...

AnniKae said...

With my kids, it's all about presentation. I have this apple peeler, corer, slicer thing and my kids say it makes their apples look like the 'slinky toy.' I can't keep up...they devour them.
p.s. I just gave you an award on my blog :)

Mommy (That's my name, don't wear it out.) said...

Thanks for visiting me earlier! I love your blog! SO glad I found it as I try try try to be as healthy as I can for my family. Love these ideas--- and I'd love it if you ever decide to post more! The avacado in the cottage cheese is a GREAT idea! I also do smoothies pretty regularly with flax seed/flax oil.