Both my husband and I grew up in pretty health-conscious homes. From my mom, I learned to avoid processed foods and excess fats and sugars. From my mother-in-law and nearby sister-in-law, I’ve learned to provide a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at meal and snack times. Although I’m not an expert about providing healthy food for kids, I have found a few resources that I like. There are a million to choose from, but I tend to keep my resources limited so I’m not overwhelmed. These are my favorites:
Although this isn’t a kid food website, I love these family recipes. One week I only cooked from this blog and Eldon actually remarked on how good the food was all week. There are quite a few ethnic recipes too.
This lady is a mom and chef. I like how she makes a lot of common kid snacks from scratch, like crackers and other treats. She recently made the website very user-friendly, and she is also coming out with a book in the next month or so that I’ll probably get.
This book is amazing! I used it for Ellie’s pureed baby foods (I’ve never bought canned baby food) and it’s still incredibly useful because it goes up to age two. I especially love how it recommends healthy sides to go with your child’s meal. I mostly use the book for lunch ideas, but many of them can be made for dinner (plus it has breakfast and snack ideas).
As far as go-to snacks (that don’t require any cooking), I try to keep things pretty simple. These are some of our favorites:
- pretzels dripped in yogurt (I usually mix plain Greek yogurt with a little flavored yogurt – it makes flavored yogurt even better!)
- frozen blueberries
- bruschetta with crackers and mozzarella cheese (Walmart sells a World Table brand for the crackers and bruschetta)
- raw nuts, mostly almonds and pecans
- apple slices with peanut butter or almond butter (I use the 100% PB and freshly ground is even better)
- golden raisins
- frozen go-gurts (although I’m ready to figure out how to make my own)
- raw carrots and broccoli with ranch
- edamame (these do require cooking, but they are great leftovers)
The Shelf Reliance brand also sells freeze-dried food that would make great go-to snacks, such as peas, corn, berries, apples, and yogurt pieces. I’ve tried those items and they are yummy straight from the can. I think I’ll order some.
Anyway, that’s my take on healthy snacks for young children. What has been successful with your kids?