Making homemade snacks for toddlers is much simpler than it seems, and the health benefits can far outweigh the effort. Why? Pre-packaged snacks are often full of nasties – despite what they write on the packaging. Research suggests these additives, preservatives and other chemicals found in common food and drinks can have an impact on the health and behaviour (including sleep) of children.
The other great thing about making snacks at home, is that most recipes can be frozen – making it el-cheapo and limiting wastage. You can incorporate snack recipes into meal planning by setting aside a few hours each week/month to make two or more meals and stock your freezer so you are never caught out. Or, try getting the kids involved; cooking with kids can help with fussy eating, as they love to try the food that they helped to make.
So what’s a ‘snack’? We think it’s a finger-food that can be eaten at home or out and about so doesn’t necessarily need re-heating or cooking. Two of our snack recipes we constantly hear good feedback about are:
- 1 cup rolled oats, lightly toasted
- 1 cup dried apricots
- ¼ cup apple puree or grated apple (squeeze away excess juice)
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup shredded coconut, plus extra for rolling
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
Tip: you can use other dried fruit such as sultanas or cranberries, or whatever your child likes best.
- Process all ingredients for around 1 minute or until well combined.
- Roll mixture into small (teaspoon sized) balls, then roll into the coconut and set aside.
- Place in an airtight container, or wrap and freeze separately.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 zucchini, finely diced or grated
- 1/2 cup finely sliced leek, white part only
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, loosely packed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan forced) and grease or line 2 x 12 mini muffin trays. (Alternatively bake 2 batches if you only have one mini muffin tray or 1 x 12 regular muffin tray.)
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook for 10 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the zucchini and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Combine the eggs, ricotta and parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir through the leek and zucchini.
- Half fill the mini muffin cases and bake for 8-12 minutes or until the frittatas have set. (For regular size muffin frittatas bake for 15-18 minutes or until set.)
Plus, here are 10 other popular snacks from One Handed Cooks: