Thursday, August 20, 2009

ABC and 123 Snacks

The picnic table talk this week, over at ABC and 123, is all about snacks. For many great ideas, visit all of the links at Picnic Table Talk: Healthy Snacks. The questions are: What easy snacks do you pack for your family? What nutritious snacks do your children most enjoy? Do you have any creative tricks for encouraging healthy snacking in your home? What do you use to pack your snacks in? Does your child's school have specific requirements for healthy snacks?
Unfortunately, I don't have anything too creative...but this is what it's like around here.
Their favorite snacks might be frozen fruit. Definitely any frozen fruit, but there is also almost always a bowl of frozen grapes or sliced bananas in our freezer. These are Ryan's favorite snacks, too. He's always bummed when he gets home, and the grapes or bananas he put in there are gone. There are never enough frozen grapes and bananas around here. I, however, prefer my fruit room temperature. :)
The kids like to use straws for their yogurt (she's slurping up coconut milk yogurt here) and applesauce cups. I got this tip from Tornado's OT. I don't know if she does it for oral motor purposes or because of the mess, but it's definitely less messy. We use any straws, but it's helpful to use these straws out of their stainless steel Thermos cups because they are fatter. Speaking of straws, we love our new stainless steel straws that I got in NYC; I don't think I'll ever have to buy plastic straws again, which is great because we went through a lot of them. I still want to try the glass straws, too; they are fatter, also, probably easier to clean, and supposedly very durable.

We love our green smoothies and popcicles around here. I originally posted about them here.
I used to have to sneak the kale or spinach in because of my pickiest eater, Dash. Now he knows he loves them so much, it doesn't phase him to help add the greens himself. Just add juice and frozen fruit, bananas, etc., and it doesn't have a strong green taste. This was actually the first time I made them in ice cube trays with craft sticks (and the sticks stood up on their own because the smoothie mixture was so thick). I thought about doing it after I read Annette's yummy-looking post at Live, Love, and Learn. (I still need to order new popcicle molds because we go through them too fast, and I don't have enough . I've been sort of holding out hope these stainless steel molds would be available soon.)

We get a lot of inspiration, such as the green smoothies, from Green and Crunchy's blog. She also gave us the idea for Earth Balls, which I wrote about here. They are made from nuts and dates, plus anything you want to add, such as coconut, seeds, goji berries, dried cranberries, etc.

Our favorite way to serve snacks is in mini-loaf pans or muffin tins. Here is an old blog post about some of our snacks. I can fill up the pans in the morning, and they can eat from them all day. I'm sort of the mindset that people should eat when they are hungry, not when the clock says they should. (I can definitely see the negative to this, though.) However, that can get crazy when you have 3 kids. It makes me feel like their haggard maid sometimes, the way they request one thing after the next. It's much easier when they know what they can eat throughout the day. I don't know that we've ever went so far as to eat a meal out of muffin tins, like the amazing creations these moms come up with. (Although, I still want to start joining in on that fun, too.)
Another way the kids like to eat their meals and snacks is out of measuring cups. (The only problem is: I'm often out of measuring cups when I need them to actually measure. I recently picked up a new set, though.) They're the perfect sizes to fit little snacks and even their oatmeal for breakfast, and they have the little handle, perfect to help them carry one across the room.

Last, here are a few of their favorite snacks-on-the-go.

I've written before about my love for Sea's Gift seaweed paper. I know it sounds weird, but Ryan and I think it's yummy (think salty), and the kids love it, too. They sometimes call it "seaweed," but they mostly call it "paper." It's very cute to hear Sissy ask for, "More paper."

Clif Kid Twisted Fruit

...and Veggie Booty.

Another way to sneak a little "green" (It contains kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, and carrot powders.) into my pickier, carb-loving 4 year old. Plus, they always get to sing their version of "Shake Your Booty." (Shake your booty...Pirate booty.)


AG'smoma said...

Great list! My two year old loves, loves her "seaweed"!

Raising a Happy Child said...

Thanks for so many good ideas! I will be on the lookout for seaweed - if my daughter won't like it, I will :) And the idea of green smoothies is awesome - I'll try it for sure.

Vegmom said...

Oh Wow as if you've been in my kitchen and taken 1/2 my stuff.. :-) I like and have tried just about everything on your list. (except the straws) We NEED to get those.

We recently started the green smoothie Popsicle, banana mashed popsicles and others... They are a huge hit and I can't keep enough made, that is my only problem. :-)

Reading some of your other posts next... Yum!

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

TELL me about where I can find myself some stainless steel straws!!! I need, need, need!