Being a mother is one of the most time-consuming jobs in the world. We barely have time for ourselves, sometimes. I cannot be the only one who has skipped a meal to tackle something baby/toddler-related.
For me, I always try to ensure that even if I don’t have time to make a healthy, nutritious meal for myself, in the very least, Liam has some healthy food options to fill himself with while Mama is losing her mind.
Part of my homework from his 18 month doctor visit was to encourage Liam to become more independent with his fork and spoon use. While he had already mastered using a fork to feed himself, I admit I had been shirking on allowing spoon use. For good reason.
Every one loves a good spoon-lick of peanut butter or cake batter. But holding your spoon upside down and using only your tongue is not exactly the best way to feed yourself a spoonful of applesauce or porridge. Liam.
Two words. Finger. Foods.
Not only are they relatively less messy, but they’re quick and easy to prepare and hassle-free. And by hassle-free I mean you can leave your toddler with them in front of some toddler-friendly TV and catch up on some shut-eye?
Sounds good right?
I kid, I kid.
Anyhoodle, I want to share with you five feel-good, yummy and nutritious snack options that are great for a mummy who is tied for time.
- Vegetable Chips
Any lightly salted or no -salt vegetable or plant based chip is a great healthy alternative from regular salty potato chips and cheesy snacks. Liam loves Soldanzas Plantain Chips which are lightly salted with no preservatives. It’s literally plantain, salt and vegetable oil. They also do a range of lightly salted and unsalted varieties such as Cassava Chips, Potato Chips, and Naturally Sweet Plantain Chips. Have a little extra time and want to make your own? I found a sweet, easy recipe here.
2. Fresh fruit
It doesn’t get much simpler than this. If you have any fruit lying around, cut it into toddler-friendly shapes or sizes and voila. It just took you less than 5 minutes to create a nutritious snack. I started Liam on fruit from quite young; his first homemade purees were mainly fruit combinations. Its a great way of catching any fruit allergies in the early too.
Trust me, I know someone who is allergic to watermelon. Watermelon.
Apples, grapes (cut into 4s), pineapple, cantelope, strawberries and banana are some of Liam’s absolute favourites. If I’m lucky enough to have them all in my fridge at once, they make a great fruit salad.
Have a little extra time to make it fun? Use shape-cutters like these to create fun and educational fruit snacks.
3. Fruit Snack Bars
I’m a fan of quick and easy grab-and-go snacks that are healthy and filling. I would totally be a granola bar spokesperson, hands down. Fruit snack bars are my new favourite grab-and-go. They’re refreshing and light but nutritious and satisfying at the same time. Liam loves the Go Ahead Bars just as much as I do. They have a huge variety ranging from Crispy Slices to Yogurt Bars and even cookies that are toddler-friendly bite-size. I buy them in bulk with each pack containing 5 3-packs in Apple flavour, Orange flavour and Forest Fruits all with mixed fruit filling.
Fruit, fruit, fruit. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Want to take a try at making some of your snack bars? I found an easy and scrumptious recipe for a four-ingredient fruit granola bar here.
4. Dried Fruit
I discovered Liam’s love for dried fruit when he constantly robbed me of my raisins from my trail mix. I eventually started to separate the raisins before consuming my portion and giving them to him in his own bowl.
Trail mix sans raisins. The sacrifices we make for our kids.
Of course, I began to buy raisins by the box for his lunch packs at school and for quick snacks at home. My favourite (and his) are Sun-Maid Raisins. I grew up eating these raisins as a child and to this day they’re still the freshest, juiciest raisins I’ve ever had.
I have yet to try Liam on other dried fruits, but if you want to switch it up, they have a range of dried fruit products like Golden Raisins, Apricots and Pitted Plums.
5. Pre-Cooked Meat Cuts
Protein, protein, protein.
Toddlers tend to prefer starchy foods like biscuits and bread so offering a yummy finger-friendly protein snack at least once a day is important. Liam is a certified meat-mouth; chicken, ham, pork- he’ll have it. Not much of a pork eater myself, I prefer turkey or chicken variations of meat products such as turkey bacon, turkey burgers, turkey ham or chicken sausages. All of these can be cooked (if needed) cleanly and diced up or sliced and served as stand-alone protein-boosting snacks in toddlers.
Happy Snack Prepping!!! 🙂