The Internet is full of amazing home-made snack ideas for babies and toddlers. But if you are like us, grabbing something on the way out of the door is much more likely than time spent at the stove.
The information below is mostly stuff you probably already know, but sometimes it takes someone to tell you that you don’t need to purchase special baby or toddler snacks from the supermarket.
I’m no hippy, but nature really does a great job of snack food. Eating whole foods also expands your kids’ palate sensitivity, meaning they will start to get a taste for wider range of foods and tastes.
Anything they eat at home can of course be given out and about. If you are worried about the mess, don’t! Pop on a bib, grab some wipes and don’t ever ever let them touch the spoon! They are babies, mess is part of the deal.
Frozen ice-cube blocks of their favourite home-made puree will stay frozen for about 30 minutes (depending on ambient temperature), and you have 2 hours beyond that to safely consume it. Just pop a cube into a little tub and take a spoon with you.
Gently steamed veggie sticks such as broccolini, carrot, sweet potato. Try to get them so they are firm enough to handle, but soft enough for your little gummy shark to bite.
Try whole raw foods such as banana. Or avocado and mango, scooped straight from the half with a spoon and into their mouth. For protein, try cottage cheese or silken tofu.
For keeping bubba occupied, I admit store-bought rusks are good (be prepared for many chucked rusks!). But you could try a homemade version like this one.
Toddlers and preschoolers:
Snacks aren’t meant to be meals, save the more elaborate (and messy) meals for home. Once they can chew slightly harder foods, there is really no need to continue with the purees, especially as a snack. Instead, try a little box of any combination of fresh foods.
Once you get your mindset around it, biscuits or pouch foods are not necessary and it’s so much better for them to eat naturally. It’s great to allow them choice and variety – this gives them some autonomy and interest in what they are eating.
Try any combo of the following:
- Carrot sticks
- Olives (pips out)
- Grapes (halved)
- Capsicum sticks
- Baby cukes / cucumber sticks
- Slices of cheese
- Cherry tomatoes (halved)
- Mandarins in season
- Whole small pears and apples are great too, just take one bite to get them started – or any other in season fruit
Fill a small tub with plain greek yoghurt such as Farmer’s Union, and top with some roughly squashed berries, or frozen fruit.
If you love the convenience of foods in a pouch, please read here why you may want to change your mindset on that. I hope this article shows you you don’t need to purchase specialised foods for your child – try avoiding that aisle of the supermarket all together – I know very well that all that marketing is hard to resist!