Little snacks for small tummies
Little people need a huge variety of food to take in the nutrition they need to grow into big people. The only problem is, little people only have very little tummies. There is no way they can take in the food they need at breakfast, lunch and dinner to get the big nutritional charge they need to grow and grow and grow.
They need high-quality snacks to get there. Or, really, they need five small meals a day that are sufficiently packed with nutrients to fill them up and power them along until the next refuelling stop.
Interestingly, the nutritional needs of the fussy kid who hardly eats a thing and the kid who doesn’t stop asking for food from dawn until dusk are the same. Both types of kids need fresh, quality whole foods that provide them with the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and other nutritional good stuff they need to develop and, just as importantly, teaches them independent, healthy eating habits.
Try these little snacks for small tummies next time your child needs a boost.
Fruit with yoghurt dip
Creamy yoghurt and tangy fruit are a tasty combination – and the calcium and vitamin C inside are a similar match made in heaven. Cut the fruits into bite-sized pieces and use plain yoghurt with a little jam or honey plus a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg stirred through. It’s delicious. If you were feeling especially creative, you could thread the fruit pieces onto kebab sticks for a fun snack on the go.
Cheese and homemade biscuits
Parmesan shortbread is a cinch to make and brings out the flavour of fresh cheese so beautifully. There’s a great recipe for the biscuits here. Serve individually wrapped cheese portions with the biscuits for extra fun – kids love unwrapping their little afternoon ‘gift’.
Banana smoothie is a perennial favourite, but you can add all sorts of fruits to the standard banana to make a flavourful snack. Frozen berries are great – raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. You can also add a dollop of peanut butter or a sprinkle of chia seeds or LSA for an interesting flavour.
Green smoothies pack a nutritional punch well above their weight. Made with spinach as well as fruits, they are a terrific way to get the dreaded ‘green food’ into little tummies. A great way to get your child interested is to allow them to grow their own herbs for their smoothies – mint, parsley and spinach can all be easily grown. You’ll be surprised how enticing this makes green food!
Bars are easy to make in batches to freeze and then it’s just a matter of popping the number you need out of the freezer in time to defrost. My favourite bars for small people snacking include:
Soup is an under-rated snack performer in recent times. Soup used to be what our parents came home to on a cold afternoon, but somewhere along the way leftovers started getting used for other dishes or (gasp) thrown in the bin, and soup became a rare thing indeed. Which is such a shame as it makes a wonderful snack for children. Depending on the kind of soup you make, it’s full of nutrients and a great way to get fussy vegetables eaters eating vegetables. My son won’t eat pumpkin, broccoli or peas, but he devours bowls of all three in soup form. Served in a cup it’s just a brilliant snacky treat. Try these recipes using leftovers or just because:
The easiest homemade baking treat you could possibly make, muffins in all their forms are a glorious thing indeed. Of course, lots of muffins are no more than very dense cakes, but a good muffin recipe will err on the side of healthy rather than out and out treat. Look for recipes using whole grains, seeds and fruits and watch the sugar content. Bake mini-muffins so you can keep an eye on portion size – those gigantic muffin tray holes are no friend to small tummies.
This article was written by Bronwyn Mandile for Kidspot NZ.