I have an autoimmune disease that affects my every day life. The importance of a good diet has become increasingly important to me as I’ve sought treatment for this disease. I believe very strongly in the healing powers of good nutrition and am now managing my autoimmune disease 100% free of any prescription drugs. As a result of my personal dietary choices, my family has also taken on these healthier lifestyle habits. As a mother feeding my young boys, I fed them mostly natural foods while avoiding sugary and processed foods as often as possible. I certainly didn’t deprive my sons of the treats their friends were eating, but nutrition was and still is a regular conversation in our home. I’ll admit though, those pre-packaged snacks were always tempting to buy when we were on the go. I mean, every mother knows how hard it can be to get out the door with your child, let alone take the time to prepare a snack. But, with a little thought and not a whole lot of preparation, packing healthy snacks for your children really is possible. Really, TRULY! Here are 10 finger foods perfect for babies (AND their health).
1. Avocado Slices
I was skeptical at first that my sons would even want to eat avocado slices. I was surprised to find that only one of the three didn’t like them. My other two sons, however, loved them. Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, potassium, and vitamins B, C, and K.
2. I Want Some More, Peas
Cooked peas are simple to prepare and as easy to eat as Cheerios (just without the refined grains and preservatives). If you have some extra time, steam some fresh garden peas and put them in a baggie when you’re ready to head out the door. Frozen peas are also a good option, but I’d avoid canned peas altogether (Follow this link to learn more about the negative aspects of canned foods). One great thing about peas is that they are a great source of fiber and help keep your toddler regular without causing diarrhea. ALSO, toddlers who are teething find frozen peas to be a source of relief on their aching gums. Read more about the health benefits of peas here.
3. Cooked Carrots
Just as easy as peas are cooked or steamed carrots. Their natural sweetness keep children happy and without feeling like they need sugary treats. Best of all, the list of health benefits from eating carrots is impressively long! Strong and healthy skin, eyes, bones, improved memory, antioxidants, and a healthy gut are just the beginning.
4. Go Bananas
Another super food with super benefits, bananas are also extremely easy to grab and go! Their natural sweetness and soft texture make little mouths and tummies very happy.
5. I’m Blue
Why pop fruit snacks or chocolate candies in your mouth when you can opt for mouth-watering blueberries instead? They just as easy to buy and only require that you put them in a baggie. One extra step but with 10Xs the health benefits of prepackaged snacks. Read more about blueberries and health here.
6. Sweet Potato Chips
Making vegetable chips of any kind will require some baking, but it is SO worth the time! A typical bag of potato chips is little more than empty calories in the form of a salt bomb packed with all the wrong fats. And, really, once your family tries homemade chips, they won’t ask to go back. My boys never did. Not once. Read here about the health benefits of sweet potatoes for good health. Detoxinista shares two seriously tasty ways to prepare your own healthy chips.
7. Zucchini Chips
8. Frozen Yogurt Strawberries
What do you mean these are for the kids?! You seriously won’t want to share these treats with your children, but boy are they easy and popular finger foods for toddlers! Avoid using sugary yogurts or those with excessive additives. I recommend using Greek yogurts that have the shortest ingredient list you can find. Fage Total 0% is my go to yogurt. Read here about the health benefits of strawberries.
9. Rice Balls
Cooked rice is not only soft and easy to digest, but it also provides children with a healthy source of energy and muscle-building proteins. Avoid overly processed rice, particularly white rices, and opt for ancient grains instead. Rice balls are a perfect finger food for hungry little tummies!
10. Chunked Cantaloupe
Naturally sweet but not to sticky, chunked cantaloupe is another great toddler-friendly finger food. Read why it’s good for children here.