I am not going to pretend to know everything there is to know about a toddler. But, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that many toddlers are a lot like my niece. Wild and crazy at times, lovable on occasion, and PICKY eaters. There are two things that are for sure when she comes to visit. A) put up the dog because she’s terrified and B) watch her go from the door straight to the snack ladder. You see, Alex and I have this ladder with baskets in our kitchen/dining area that hold all of the snack food. It’s mainly for Alex, as it has chips, crackers, and a few sweets. I’ll house my RX Bars, Larabars and nuts in the baskets as well, but she always seems to look over those (LOL). It’s easily accessible and she can reach almost everything — not ideal for a toddler. I say this because these are snacks that she doesn’t typically eat, but that look exciting. She will usually take a few bites of something and hours later I’ll find the remains on the dresser. As if deciding that at some point during the first three bites, it’s not what she thought it was 🙂 (who can relate?).
I decided to do an experiment one day after finding a trail of little miss around my house of snacks that she didn’t finish. Could I find some toddler approved snacks that aren’t filled with all the sugar but have some exciting touches to them? Let’s give it go. She would be my guinea pig — she’s our toughest critic after all. The trick is to focus on a nutrient packed base with fruits or vegetables. I’ll give you some examples!
Before we get started, I recommend calling the snacks something fun! I roasted up some sweet potatoes (cut in rounds) at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Once cooled (v important) I coated the tops with Crazy Richards peanut butter and added fun toppings. Sweet potato cookies! Boom. She’ll never know the difference right? Hah! We topped ours with raisins, honey and hemp seeds. You could get so creative with these. Obviously, she knew the difference between these and the real deal but they are still very tasty. Save the rounds that you have left for dinner. Or be like Katie and I and eat them with a little sea salt throughout the day 🙂 . Pro tip: Crazy Richards is the best (spreadable) peanut butter I have found to date, but any nut butter will work!
I remembered Carter Claire eating avocados all.the.time when she had started solids as a baby. She was SUCH a good eater pre-toddler years. I used avocados as the base for a chocolate pudding. I felt that avocados were mild enough in flavor that she would never know. Trickery. The cocoa powder mixed with the maple syrup totally masked any taste of avocado, but gave it that smooth “pudding” texture. (Avocado Pudding recipe card is at the end of the post!)
Two words, Banana. Sushi. Need I say more? These were her favorite for obvious reasons. I tried to come up with a recipe that included Skittles, her all time favorite candy, but I was stumped. M&M’s come in at a close second and they didn’t disappoint. Spread peanut butter on a banana, cut into 1.5 inch pieces and roll them in literally anything a toddler could imagine, but preferably things that are eatable :). Here we used M&M’s, Chia seeds, Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and coconut flakes. Go ahead and do yourself a solid and buy the sweetened coconut flakes. They are dangerously addicting just by themselves and were our favorite topping of all.
And there you have it. Three easy recipes that your toddler is sure to love. Play around with the recipes, make them with your toddler and have fun! We hope that you (and your family) enjoy these healthy snacks with a fun twist. Let us know which is your favorite, as well as your go-to toddler snacks! We need all the help we can get when it comes to getting toddlers to eat healthy, amiright? Happy snacking!
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
- 2 avocados
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender
- Sprinkle cacao nibs on top for a little crunch
- Enjoy at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes