Healthier Snacks

We’ve been defaulting to graham crackers and potato chips around here. When we’re feeling “healthier” we’ll swap in some string cheese or fresh berries. I actually found myself digging out spoonfuls of peanut butter the other day and thought enough is enough. It’s easy to be uninspired about snacking. When you work to plan and make meals for everyone in the family and have back-up meals on hand in case a certain someone turns his nose up at his first meal option, who has the energy to do much more than grab the first thing you see in the cabinet.

We’ve also been working to transition Orion away from snacking, focusing instead on three solid meals and maybe one healthy snack during his longer period of wakefulness, either that or during the time of day when he’s fussing the most and it’s not yet a meal time. So our cabinets have been emptying out as me and my husband gorge on toddler-sized treats. It’s been tough since I’ve been a dedicated snacker my whole life. First there’s second breakfasts. Then I’ve always considered ten a.m. to be potato-chip a’clock. I’m starving by the time lunch rolls around. Same goes for dinner so I usually have to have at least one snack before a late dinner. I’ve been known to sneak a bowl of cereal before bed as well. Most of the things I snack on though turn out to be choking or allergy hazards for babies, so without realizing it, we had stockpiled all sorts of processed, carbohydrate-heavy snacks and were pressing them on Orion.

Our son has always been one to lose it when it comes to food. Even his very first night in the hospital, he was up like clock work every two hours demanding to be fed. While it took us a while to figure out what he was saying, most of Orion’s cries related to wanting milk and wanting it in his mouth now. He was born extremely impatient (wonder where he got that from) and despite efforts to work on building his resiliency, if the kid doesn’t get food, he loses it. So I took to tucking bags of gold fish and pretzels and graham crackers in every pocket of our diaper bag. But then Orion started walking and suddenly his appetite has dropped off a cliff. If we can get him to eat a few bites for dinner and drink some milk, we’ll count it a success. Meanwhile there’s lots more screaming now related to not wanting to eat and food thrown on the floor and smeared about because isn’t food more fun to play with than eat. So I decided to start re-thinking my own snacks as reinforcements. Who doesn’t feel better prepared to take on a toddler with ketchup in his ear and dinner on the floor when your stomach is full. Here’s some ideas I found from around the web.

seed crackersby mynewroots

Protein_bars

 by Green Kitchen Stories

sweet potato buckwheat bars

by the talented Golubka whose new book The Vibrant Table is at the top of my to-do list right now

oatmeal crackers

from the ever talented Heidi Swanson at 101cookbooks 

sunflower butter

and this simple but delicious looking recipe also from 101coookbooks

oatcakes

these from 3191 miles apart that I’ve been meaning to try forever

sweet potato chips

homemade chips by Kojo Designs

carrot hummus

roasted carrot hummus from The year in food

chocolate popcorn

And for a little bit of a treat, a perhaps less healthy but undeniably intriguing recipe at the kitchn

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