On the to-do list for this week: initiate snack time revamp. My kid's entrance into toddler-hood has brought new attitudes concerning food, of course. She used to happily taste nearly everything we put into her mouth. Whether she'd accept a second bite is another question, but we've been lucky in that she has generally been open to trying a wide variety of foods. It seems like yesterday she was sticking her chubby little fist in a dish of fish sauce and happily licking it off. But she has things figured out now. She knows that some foods taste better to her than others, and is perfectly happy sticking to the ones she already knows she likes. So I've gotten in the habit of relying on the same few snacks: raisins, crackers, cheese, whatever fruit we have on hand. While they're usually healthy enough, I'd like to do a better job of offering her a wider variety of foods at snack time and help her continue to explore new tastes and textures. So we're trying these snack "buffets". You can use ice cube trays or muffin tins, depending on the age and number of kids you have to feed. You can cut everything to fit in the spaces, and to the right size for your child. Steer clear of choking hazards for little ones, of course!
Here's a list of foods that make a healthy, colorful snack tray:

Vegetables

  • Carrots (steamed and sliced for a younger baby)
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Edamame
  • Sweet potato, cooked and cubed
  • Cucumber
  • Pickles

Dips

  • Hummus
  • Nut butter
  • Tzatziki sauce (great recipe here)
  • Whipped cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Plain yogurt
  • Salad dressing

Grains

  • Whole grain bread, cubed or sliced
  • Crackers
  • Rice cakes, broken into pieces
  • Pita
  • Large-grain couscous (Israeli couscous)
  • Noodles

Protein

  • Boiled egg slices
  • Salami
  • Ham
  • Other favorite meat, sliced or cubed
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds (sliced or slivered for younger kids)
Fruit
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Orange slices
  • Strawberries
  • Mango

Other

  • Cheese cubes; maybe be adventurous and try new kinds. There's so much more than cheddar and string cheese!
  • Popcorn
  • Jello cubes, like these

I'll let you know how it goes at our house. I only just tried this for the first time last week, but my two year old will now eat steamed broccoli, so I think we're on to something! I'll post pictures on our social media sites if you'd like to follow. As always, we'd love to hear your ideas too. Happy snacking!

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