If your child is as picky as my oldest child, chances you have some tried and true snacks that your picky eater will always gravitate to. I’m not a nutritionist, just a mom who’s living it daily.
1. Fresh Fruit or No Added Sugar Applesauces/Fruit Purees: Fresh fruit is much better, but if you have a picky eater who’s going to refuse to eat the fresh, delicious apple you packed in their lunch, find a good, no sugar added applesauce or fruit puree.
2. Smoothies: You can use frozen or ripe fruit, greek yogurt (to really pack it with protein). You can also add peanut or nut butter or even put greens in (Kale or fresh baby spinach work well). My picky eater has low muscle tone, so swallowing can sometimes be a chore – so I used the wider bubble straw and thin down his smoothies. Don’t have time to make your own — we like Bolthouse Farms, Stonyfield’s Yogurt Smoothies and Happy Baby’s Happy Squeeze. We are also big fans of Earth’s Best’s new organic yogurt pouch smoothies.
3. Whole Grains: I try to always buy snacks that contain whole grains. We also try to go as organic as possible too. Trader Joe’s makes it easy, plus we like to catch Stop and Shop’s Natural Promise line (when it’s on sale). My picky eater loves carbs, but he will eat fruit and yogurt. I try to stay away from anything with food dyes and high fructose corn syrup and I READ EVERY Label before I buy.
Whole Grain Snack ideas: Cliff Kid Baked Energy Bars (their new one – Clif Kid Zbar Crispy Peanut Butter is delish), Whole Wheat Crackers (add some string cheese for protein), whole wheat pretzels, whole wheat cracker peanut butter sandwiches (or soynut or another non-peanut butter), popcorn, baked tortilla chips — blue corn is healthier than the other types and kids will love that the chips are blue. Granola bars are fine if you pick lower sugar options – we like Cascadian Farm Organic Chewy Granola Bar, Chocolate Chip, 6-Count Boxes.
4. Yogurt: We like greek (so much more protein) or organic yogurt. Don’t pick yogurts with artificial flavors and colors (do you really want your kids eating cotton candy yogurt?) and watch the grams of sugar. We constantly reach for Stonyfield’s YoBaby line and love Chobani’s kids’ line.
5. Cut up Veggies: While this doesn’t work in my picky’s eater’s lunchbox, he’ll snack on veggies before dinner. I always give him a choice (between 2 kinds) and offer dips like ranch dressing, hummus, or guacamole. My picky eater can’t manage the stubby little carrots, so I cut then thinner for him. He’ll also eat celery, cooked zucchini, cooked yellow squash, jicama, and sometimes peapods, peas, and creamed spinach. I used to stuff vegetables in foods and serve it to him, but I want to deliver the message that vegetables are non-negotiable.
Anyone have any other great (and healthy) snack ideas?