My friend Esther recently asked me to post some toddler-friendly snack ideas. As I sit here nibbling on the delicious Amish butter she brought me today, I feel inclined to write just such a post. Love you, Esther!
Feeding my toddler nutritious food is one of my highest priorities. Numerous studies prove the long lasting effects of early nutrition on the body, both good and bad. By feeding my daughter during these early years I am doing two things. First, I am providing nutrients during crucial stages that will determine everything from brain development to bone density. Second, I am cultivating her palate to enjoy the foods that will keep her healthy for a lifetime.
In a nutshell, I put a lot of thought into this : – )
Note: You will probably notice that a food dehydrator is needed for a lot of these recipes. Dehydrators are wonderful because they allow you to “cook” foods at low temperatures so that valuable enzymes, vitamins and minerals are not destroyed. If after reading this you decide you’re in the market for a food dehydrator, make sure you buy one that has a temperature control function.
Dehydrated Kale Chips
Recipe at RawGuru Note: Mine never take as long to get crispy as the recipe recommends.
Nutrition Facts: Kale is a superfood. Among it’s many benefits, kale “eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system. It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration. It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer. Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll.”
For a complete nutritional analysis, visit Nutrition Data. Com
Soaked “Lara Bars”
Recipe at Enlightened Cooking. To make this recipe Nourishing Traditions friendly I soaked the nuts for 7 hours with one tablespoon of salt and then dehydrated at 115 degrees for 18 hours. Also, I used my hands instead of plastic wrap to form into bars and then stored in wax paper.
Nutrition Facts from Enlightened Cooking:
Dates are included in a majority of the LARA Bars, so I thought I’d mention a few facts about these wonderful fruits.
I love dates because I love brown sugar, and dates taste like brown sugar candy–hence they are a delicious and healthy way to curb my sweet tooth. One date has a mere 23 calories and is loaded with nutrition. Dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates (great for pre- or post-workout), contain no cholesterol, are high in fiber, and boast a wide range of nutrients, including calcium (32 mg per serving), Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese.
Dates also contain vitamins A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and more than 20 different amino acids; they help in the digestion and assimilation of carbohydrates, and help to regulate blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies.
Recipe at GNOWFGLINS (God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In-Season
Nutrition Facts: Use grass-fed beef ()!
- It is richer in antioxidants; including vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C
- Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain- fed animals
- Meat and dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA—a mere 0.1 percent of total calories—greatly reduced tumor growth.” Source: Eat Wild
Recipe: There are a lot of options here. We make ours with kefir or coconut milk (Native Forest Coconut Milk is BPA free. Thai Kitchen is NOT!). Because we know our eggs come from healthy chickens we also incorporate raw yolks.* Add in some fruit (sneak some veggies like kale in if you want) and voila! We also add freshly ground flax seed for extra omega-3’s and a mild, nutty flavor.
*Raw egg facts: The sulphur amino acids help to keep you young, raw eggs also contain an abundance of other vital substances including protein, essential fatty acids along with niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc and sulphur. Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D. Source: Regenerative Nutrition
Nutrition Facts: Depends
What did I miss? Please share your ideas in the comment section!!!