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Healthy Snacks that Toddlers Love Part 2

on April 15 | in Toddler Snack Ideas | by | with 5 Comments

A nutritionist friend once told me to think of a toddler’s diet in terms of a full day or even a week. My daughter doesn’t eat a balanced diet at every meal, but with the right snacks I usually manage to convince her to eat one or two veggies, proteins, dairy etc. per day. I consider snacks an opportunity to fill in mealtime gaps. Below are listed two snacks I count toward her fruit/vegetable intake and one for protein. The other is a pretty decent replacement for sugary snacks.

These are all healthy snacks that toddlers love to eat because they’re fun, bite-sized, and tasty!

Note: You will probably notice that a food dehydrator is needed for one 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.

“Roasted” or Salted Nuts

Recipes:

  • Pecans – Soak 2 cups pecans in warm water with 1 tsp sea salt for 7 hours. Rinse, place in dehydrator, sprinkle with salt, then dehydrate at 105-150 degrees for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Almonds – Soak 2 cups almonds in warm water with 1 1/2 tsp sea salt for 7 hours. Rinse, place in dehydrator, sprinkle with salt, then dehydrate at 105-150 degrees for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Cashew – Soak 2 cups cashews in warm water with 1 1/2 tsp sea salt for no more than 6 hours. Rinse, place in dehydrator, sprinkle with salt, then dehydrate at 200-250 degrees for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally. Note: According to Nourishing Traditions, raw cashews are not truly raw. They have to be heated to 350 degrees while in their shell to neutralize a toxic oil called cardol. Dehydrating at low temps is not necessary since the enzymes have already been destroyed. Soaking still makes them more digestible, though.
  • Pumpkin Seeds – Although not technically a nut, these are still really good! Soak 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds in warm water with 1 tbsp sea salt for 7 hours. Rinse, place in dehydrator, sprinkle with salt, then dehydrate at 105-150 degrees for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally.

Nutrition Facts: Nuts are high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats. There is a caveat, though.

Nuts and seeds naturally contain enzyme inhibitors. And by soaking them, you not only release the toxic enzyme inhibitors, but also increase the life and vitality contained within them! The purpose of these enzyme inhibitors is to protect the nut and/or seed until it has what it needs for growing (ex. sunlight, water, soil, etc.). Since the soak water will contain the enzyme inhibitors, and is very acidic to the body, please be sure to rinse your nuts and seeds well after soaking. Source: Avena Originals

For nutritional profiles on specific nuts, check out Helium.

Just Tomatoes, Etc.

Perfect for when you’re “on the go,” these freeze dried snacks with absolutely nothing added provide a nutritious alternative to portable junk food. My friend Cindy calls them her answer to Cheerios. Organic varieties available: apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries, mango, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, carrots, corn, peas and tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts: Check their nutrition page for a breakdown on each specific product.

Kelp

Nutrition Facts: Katie calls kelp “help help,” and she’s right. Sea vegetables “offer the broadest range of minerals of any food . . . are an excellent source of iodine [which supports healthy thyroid function] and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.” I like Maine Coast Sea Vegetables brand because they dry at low temperatures to keep enzymes active.

Source: WH Foods

Homemade Jello

Photo Credit: Rotorhead

Recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet. I use half the amount of juice called for in this recipe (substituting with water) to cut down on the sugar.

Nutrition Facts: I’m actually not sure about this recipe. There is conflicting info out there about the quality of commercially available gelatin (UPDATE: Click here for grassfed gelatin). Still, it’s better than cookies ; – )

Related Posts:

Healthy Snacks That Toddlers Love Pt. 1
Healthy Snacks that Toddlers Love Pt. 3
Healthy Snacks That Toddlers Love Pt. 4

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5 Responses to Healthy Snacks that Toddlers Love Part 2

  1. Mae says:

    another great post Heather!
    .-= Mae´s last blog ..Meal Plan Monday =-.

  2. Esther says:

    Another awesome post! where can we buy raw nuts in bulk at a reasonable price?

  3. emily says:

    excellent, healthy ideas here we enjoy too. my daughter likes nori as well, its really messy though!
    .-= emily´s last blog ..Real Food Menu Plan- Thai food, seafood and more =-.

  4. Jeannie says:

    Great suggestions. I know you meant raw nuts, but I did not read that in your directions. Some people may try to used nuts that are all ready roasted.

    The kelp is great. If you start them out young with a small amount, they will usually grow to like it. It is one of my snacks as well.

    Another suggestion – a little super food powder in organic applesauce. I use VitaMineral Green and suggested it for my niece, but there are many others. Just make sure it is high quality.

  5. [...] and dehydrated to remove phytates. For instructions on how to do this check out the recipe at Healthy Snacks That Toddlers Love Part 2. Follow the soaking instructions but do not sprinkle salt on them before placing them in the [...]

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