If there’s one thing that keeps a toddler happy, it’s snacks! It also keeps us mums happy too as we know a quick snack will give us a 5 min coffee break (5 mins may be too ambitious). Toddlers have small stomachs, but increasing appetites, so they have a tendency to graze. I try to stick to just two snacks a day, but often if we’re out I’ll be handing them out more frequently! I think we’re all very much aware of the rising concern of childhood obesity and childhood tooth decay – it’s a real problem. Therefore, it’s important to choose snacks wisely. To be honest, toddlers are very active and need a good calorie and fat intake, so I struggle to comprehend how much parents must feed their children for them to be obese. Nevertheless, it’s important for us to all be aware of what’s healthy and what’s not, not just for weight reasons, but for how nutritious that product is.
I don’t deprive Molly of sugar, she has it in small amounts, but I am very aware of giving her a balanced diet (with the odd treat). Don’t get me wrong, we have the odd fish fingers and potato smiles dinner too! You can’t be healthy every single day. Well, it’s possible, but certainly not enjoyable!
With snacks it’s important to try and keep an eye on sugar content as manufacturers are sneaky and things such as yogurts flavoured with fruit, are incredibly high in sugar. Here are a few snack ideas for you to try:
1. Oatcakes – These are very low in sugar and full of healthy, slow-release carbs to keep blood sugar levels stable. You can top them with things such as peanut butter, almond butter, cottage cheese etc! Molly loves them just as they are.
2. Natural yogurt – This type of yogurt is naturally low in sugar and also contains healthy bacteria for good gut health. They’re very creamy and you can always add mashed fruit if your little one doesn’t like it plain.
3. Raisins – Molly’s favourite! These are great for keeping little ones occupied too as they are mor fiddly to pick up and chew. They do contain natural sugars and which can be quite high, but it’s still one of your five-a-day and great in moderation.
4. Cheese cubes & apple slices – don’t buy those horrible rubbery cheesestrings, just chop up some cheddar and serve with slices of apple (remove the skin).
5. Marmite Rice Cakes – These are a tad salty so only give one at snack time. On the plus side, they’re a low sugar snack which is also high in vitamin B!
6. Hummus & cucumber sticks – Make sure you remove the skin from the cucumber and don’t add too much hummus due to the salt intake. However, you could make it yourself – just blend up some chickpeas with olive oil and a tad of lemon juice!
7. Ella’s kitchen smoothie pouches – Molly has one of these every day, she get’s very excited as soon as I say, ‘fruit pouch’. They do a variety of flavours, but Molly’s favourite is ‘The Green One’.
8. Organix ‘crisps’ – We were recently sent some delicious snacks by Organix. They have just introduced two new toddler snacks – cheese & onion lentil hoops & cheesy pea snaps. I love the fact they are using minimal ingredients and listing them clearly on the back. It’s easy to be mislead into buying unhealthy products when brands use clever marketing to brand something healthy when it’s not. With these Organix snacks you can be sure you’re giving your child something that is well-balanced, healthy and nutritious. Molly definitely approves – as you can see in the picture below!!