Wednesday, 22 February 2012
5 (Almost) Instant Toddler Snacks
Here is a quick list of things that I make sure I always have on hand, so that when the cupboard seems bare, there is still some healthy options for my hungry little boy. These are some alternative suggestions to the normal fruit, yogurt, toast and dip that you might think of. I'm a bit unimaginative when it comes to snacks, so it's always good to have several options.
As with the rest of the baby led weaning style food on this blog, these snacks are low in salt, so you don't need to worry about how much your toddler is snacking on during the day. Roman has been having the couscous balls since he first started eating solids, so many of these suggestions are not just good for toddlers, but for babies too.
1. Rice Cakes
There is always a pack of these in our pantry. I buy the thin, plain, no salt ones. There are some flavoured mini ones in the baby food section at the supermarket, but they are about 10 times the price of the adult ones, and Roman is just as happy with the plain ones. He has them topped with peanut butter, avocado, cream cheese or plain. I break them in half for him and he holds one piece in each hand.
Everyone has a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. But you don't have to get a pot on the stove to cook them. Just put a handful into a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water from the kettle. Leave them to sit for about 5 minutes until soft and then strain. They will keep for a few days covered in the fridge.
Peas are great for babies developing their pincer grip and it's very cute to watch them delicately pick one up and put it in their mouth. Roman has been having these since he was about 9 months, and he's never choked on them.
Peas straight from the freezer are a great snack for older kids, especially on a hot day.
The best thing about making couscous for babies is that it doesn't matter if you're bad at making couscous and it always come out lumpy, because that's how babies like it.
Boil the kettle and put 1/4 cup of couscous into a heatproof bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water, give a quick stir, cover and leave to sit for 5 - 10 minutes. Take a teaspoon of the couscous and squash it together in your hands to make a ball.
High in fibre and protein, canned chickpeas are a great instant snack. Look for the no added salt, organic ones. I imagine the toasted chickpeas would be good too, although I haven't tested them out on Roman yet. Again, I'd make sure they're low in salt.
5. Rough Scrambled Egg
This isn't an even, pale yellow like regular scrambled egg, but more a white and yellow scramble.
Heat up a small fry pan and add a slick of oil or a knob of butter. Crack in an egg and quickly mix it together with a spoon. You can crack it into a separate bowl first to mix it up, but why dirty another dish? Swirl the egg about and it should only take 1 - 2 minutes to cook. Cut into strips to serve.
Hard boiled eggs are also a good snack, but they obviously take a bit longer to cook.
Some snacks that require a bit more preparations:
Mini Savoury Muffins (freezer friendly)
Sugar Free Carrot and Date Cupcakes (freezer friendly)
Warm Buttered Apple
Yogurt Snack Pancakes (freezer friendly)
Zucchini Slice (freezer friendly)