Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Easy, healthy snacks and meals for toddlers!

If you don't have all the time in the world to cook and prepare meals for your always hungry toddler, these simple ideas for easy healthy snacks might come in handy ;) My toddlers (ages 1 and 2) are hungry all the time! And they both love all  these snacks:

Cereal with milk
It's easy to fix and it's the perfect breakfast. If you read the label on the cereal box you'll see it contains a lot of vitamines every child needs to grow healthy. Every morning I make 3 big bolws for me and my 2 toddlers.

Pancakes with fruit
Pancakes are not the most nutritional food on the earth, but my kids love them and they're easy to fix. So after I put a little bit of syrup (not too much, because it contains a lot of sugar) I cut a banana (and sometimes and apple or few strawberries) into small pieces and put them on the top of the pancakes. And it makes a perfect breakfast :)

Scrambled eggs with cheese and ham
I simply stir 3 eggs in the pan and after they're ready I add 2 slices of cheese on the top and let it melt. I also add little pieces of ham. Sometimes I put the eggs on the top of toasted bread and add tomatos for a side dish.  Eggs are good for the kids, because they contain protein. Cheese contains calcium and it's good too. Just make sure you cook the eggs long enough.

Yogurt instead of ice cream
There was a time when my son was addicted to ice cream. He wanted to eat it all the time! One day I simply stopped buying it, but he kept asking for it. So I bought some strawberry yogurt and when he asked for ice cream I gave it to him. Surprisingly, he ate it all and he loved it. Now he eats strawberry yogurt every day. And his sister eats it too, because she always tries to copy her big brother ;) I feel a little guilty, because he still thinks he's eating ice cream... but the most important thing is that he loves it and it's healthy! You can serve the yogurt with pieces of fruit on the top and a bagle to make it a little bit more filling.

Macaroni and cheese
Yes, every kid loves them. I know children who eat nothing, but macaroni and cheese. They are easy to fix and contain vitamin A, vitamin C and some protein. You can always add some extra cheese or you can simply serve it as a side dish.

Chicken with vegetables
Although it takes awhile for the chicken to bake it's still pretty easy to fix and it's an excellent source of protein. I usually buy a pack of 4 or even 10 chicken tights and I bake them in the oven for 45 minutes at 400F. I also buy few cans of carrots and peas and just heat them up in a saucepan over low to medium heat with a teaspoon of low fat margarin just to add some extra flavour.

Pizza with vegetables
My children love pizza. I usually buy frozen pizza at the store and in order to make it more nutritional I add thin slices of peppers and chopped parsley and brocoli. And of course some extra mozarella for a finishing touch. My son is not much on vegetables, so I always "hide" them under a thick layer of cheese.

Rice with vegetables
If your children are not big fans of meat, try to offer rice with vegetables. My favourite easy recipe is white rice with carrots and peas and an egg (cooked separately and added later). Sometimes I also add tiny pieces of ham. It's delicious!

Another easy meal that could be made without meat is spaghetti. Just boil the pasta and heat up the sauce. Spaghetti have plenty of fiber and folic acid. If you children like to eat meat you can always add some ground beef. And don't forget the extra veggies of your choice for the sauce.
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