Nutritious Finger Foods Toddlers Love
- Nutrition. We hear about healthy eating every day, but when it comes down to it, we may find it challenging to serve nutritious snacks to a toddler, especially when she's a fussy eater. Simplicity is the key for getting good food into your child. Focus on the building blocks of nutrition: whole grains, lean protein, fruits/veggies and dairy. These come in all shapes, sizes and flavors and many are very convenient to serve.
Foods like whole grain crackers, yogurt, rolled sliced turkey, fruit salad cups or veggie sticks are all classics which pack a great nutritional punch and are super easy to pack and go. It's a good idea to keep some healthy favorites on hand to mix and match.
- Fun. Some kids love helping make their own snacks, and all kids love snacks that are eye-catching and fun to eat. When time allows, you can have your toddler help you make fruit smoothies (a good safe job for a child that age might be putting the cut fruit in the blender cup) or create faces on crackers using raisins and cream cheese.
- Variety. Offering variety in snacks will not only keep your child interested, it helps promote a healthy diet, too. Choose nutritious foods of different textures and colors, and try new dips and toppings now and then.
- Choice. Toddlers are well known for voicing their preferences loud and clear, even when they don't yet have a grip on full sentences. This is the stage of exploration and increased autonomy. Offer your child simple choices between one healthy snack and another.
Remember, simple and natural is best.
Here are a few easy recipes your little ones can enjoy:
Offer various snack foods cut into strips perfect for dipping. Try whole grain toast strips, breadsticks, celery and carrot sticks. For dip, you can use whipped-style cream cheese, smooth peanut butter*, or a honey-yogurt blend. (*Kids who have peanut allergies can enjoy soy nut butter or other peanut butter alternatives found at your local Whole Foods or natural foods store.)