Audrey’s Kitchen: Toddler Healthy Snack Trays

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Healthy Snack TraysIt is no surprise to anyone with kids that toddlers can be (are) picky eaters.  And although I have exposed my daughter to lots of types of foods and flavors since she was born, there is no escaping the age of 2: that wonderful age when sense of self and the idea of choice become factors at meal time.  It’s easy to fall into the rut of giving in to a whiny toddler and letting them have more snacks, crackers, and junky stuff.  But doing that keeps your toddler’s belly full, so at meal time when you present broccoli on their plate they quickly respond by sticking their nose in the air and launching their broccoli across the room.  Why would they eat it?  They are already full!  So in an effort to keep my daughter happy with snacking and my nutritionally-focused brain from exploding, I tried healthy snack trays.  The idea is to use a muffin tin or ice cube tray to lay out a variety of healthy snack foods for your toddler to graze on throughout the day.  This keeps their tummy full and happy, and they can experiment with new foods and explore free choice.  Audrey explored each section of foods, touching and tasting each one.  She also loved dipping her crackers into some peanut butter! Another fun twist would be to encourage your toddler to smell each food.  Audrey loved having a fun cornucopia of foods to choose from, and I loved knowing she was getting nutrients her growing body needs.

Audrey ApprovedTips:
• Keep it colorful. Creating a beautiful rainbow array grabs your toddler’s attention.
• Keep it raw as much as possible, focusing on vegetables and fruit.
• Choose whole grain when using crackers / baked snacks / cereals . We love whole grain shredded wheat.
• Chop food into small pieces to avoid choking hazards.

 

 

 

Veggies:
• Red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes (cut in half), radishes (cut into pieces), red cabbage
• Orange bell peppers, carrots, baked sweet potato chunks
• Yellow bell peppers, yellow squash, sweet corn
• Romaine lettuce (Audrey loves this!), celery, broccoli, avocado, spinach, bok choy, peas & green beans (canned is fine)
• Cauliflower, mushroom slices

Fruits:
• Watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pink grapefruit, cherries (pitted and halved)
• segments of clementines, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots
• pineapple, bananas, mango, pears
• green grapes (cut in half), kiwi, honeydew melon
• blueberries, raisins, plums, prunes, purple grapes

Fun Add-Ins:
• whole wheat crackers
• other dried fruits
• small seeds if your toddler can handle them (sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, etc.)
• your favorite healthy cereal
• dark chocolate chunks

Have you ever tried a version of a healthy snack tray with your toddler?

What are your favorite foods to include?

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Chrissy is a born-and-raised Cincinnatian, where she lives with her husband, their three daughters, a sweet, old dog and a cat who thinks he is a dog. Chrissy is a homeschooling mom who also works as a private violin teacher and as a Freedom Fighter with Better Way Designs. She loves cooking (and eating!), binge-watching television series on Netflix during the few precious hours after her kids go to sleep, and exploring restaurants and family-friendly activities in the Cincinnati area with her family. Learn more about fair-trade products made by women freed from trafficking at Chrissy's site: www.mybetterwaydesigns.org/chrissybender

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