Since the summer, I notice Nyaeli does not eat much food. Like most kids her age, she doesn't eat much of anything. To busy getting her life (tasting things off the floor, watching Sesame Street, taking her pamper off, drawing on furniture; your typical toddler)
She prefers snacks to meals. Instead of filling her up with processed sugars and unknown ingredients, I whipped out my trusty Baby Bullet (Baby food processor). Its one of my most valuable gifts from her baby shower because I use it EVERYDAY. If you're ever stuck thinking "what healthy snacks can I feed my kid that are easy to make that they will actually like eating"
I want to share my favorite go to DIY toddler snacks that my daughter actually likes:
1. Zucchini Pasta and sauce
Yes, this is technically a meal but I call this a snack because she eats just enough to rev up her engines and go! Instead of buying $5 pre-made zucchini strings, I bought 2 whole zucchini and used a potato peeler to make zucchini ribbon pasta. Instead of boiling in water, I use vegetable stock. Once the pot is boiling, add ribbons and let cook for 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool down and serve with sauce or just olive oil. Sometimes, I make my own sauce blending olives, carrots, sautéed garlic and onion. One thing I learned, dont go heavy with seasonings especially pepper and salt. Veggies carry natural flavor and natural salt so be light handed with kids foods.
2. Watermelon cubes
You can also use an ice cream or melon ball scoop but the bite sizes make this a fun treat! Nyaeli likes her watermelon before its been chilled. Tiny tummies digest room temperature foods much better than cold or super hot.
3. Breakfast smoothie bowls
The produce section is your best friend. Grab fruits and veggies you love to eat. Carrots, blueberries, spinach, avocado, bananas, kiwi, strawberry, aloe, etc. Here's where my Baby Bullet comes handy. Blend your super flavorful goodies and add your choice of milk (I use coconut milk). To thicken the smoothie, add banana, a little avocado, and almond butter. These are natural fats packed with vitamins that when blended, add a surprising smooth, buttery flavor. Play around with different flavors to discover the recipes you like most.
To start off with an easy breakfast smoothie recipe, mix 1 banana, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 avocado. Blend and serve. Make your smoothie bowls as pretty as you want or throw in a travel cup for quick breakfast on the go.
Have any leftovers in that blender? Throw some chunks of fruit along with your mixture into popsicle molds. The dollar store sells popsicle molds with lids for $1! My Baby Bullet comes with silicone freezer molds but they don't have the sticks for baby to feed herself. Ive seen people make frozen ice treats using an ice tray however they are much to small for my daughter to handle without making a mess. Whichever way works for you, surprise your tot with a nice frozen treat.
A new concept for Nyaeli since this summer is Almond butter and jelly sandwiches. When she was much younger, she ate 100% peanut butter but because babies cannot eat honey til after 1 year, we waited to introduce jelly. I picked up a jar of Almond butter at Costco and let me just say that the flavor is nothing like peanut butter. It tastes like nutty chocolate sauce to me. I put it on almost everything! Just saying you should try it.
Just a disclaimer, your toddler's taste buds or allergies may prevent them from liking my recipes. Please practice common sense; my suggestions are merely a guide line to inspire you to try new things. Substitute ingredients for ones you know are safe and interesting to your child. If your kid is just a picky eater, trying new things may not be her jam. That's perfectly normal too. At age 2, kids generally don't like change however, if you introduce new foods early on, they are more likely to try a new recipe using the ingredients they like.
Please share your toddler meal time stories in the comments below!