July 20, 2009

7 Sure to Please Organic/Natural Snacks for Picky Toddlers

I would have never imagined that snacks would become such a major part of my existence or my anxiety level. I spend copious amounts of time and money thinking about and buying the healthiest, tastiest snackage for Olivia, only to be greeted by her shaking her head and saying, "Noooooooo!" when she peers into her snack cup to see what lies inside. When she sees me coming with a snack, she runs up to me with the unbridled enthusiasm of a toddler, but if she doesn't like what I'm offering, sometimes she bursts into tears as if to say, "Mom, how could you have let me down like this!?" And I feel I can't possibly be alone in this mission to find the perfect snacks.

But lately I've been on a winning streak. I have found seven sure to please yummy, healthy snacks for kids. Mind you- none of these are better than say, apple slices, carrot sticks, grapes and bananas - and in a perfect world, Olivia would gobble up fresh fruits and veggies whenever I offered them to her. But in the real world, these are the snacks that are never refused when we're out and about and I don't have the option of toting a buffet table.

By the way, I have no affiliation with any of these products/companies... I am just a mom scouring the marketplace of my own accord!

1. Organic Clif Kid Twisted Fruit - Olivia's all time favorite snack. It is shaped like a licorice vine, so it's much easier to bite into and chew than typical fruit leathers which require the gnawing efficiency of a Rottweiler. Each twisted fruit is equivalent to one serving of fruit. Whenever I whip out one of these puppies, Olivia goes into a giddy state of euphoria... they also make great bribe snacks, although I hear bribing your kids with food is a big no-no. Oops. *Only downer: these are really hard to find - especially by the boxful. I have had to shell out a dollar for each twisted fruit, as sold individually. Olivia's name for it: "YUMMY FRUIT!"

2. Annie's Homegrown, Totally Natural Bunny Grahams - We buy these at Costco by the bunny load, so we have to spread them out so Olivia doesn't get sick of them. In yummy flavors of cheese, chocolate chip, chocolate, and honey, the bunnies never fail. When Olivia peers into her snack cup at them she nods her head and says, "Mmmmmm, Bunnnniiiieeess!" But beware, if you serve up the wrong flavor, protests may occur.

3. Organic Clif Kid Z Bar - When we first got these, my husband said in terror, "WHY are we giving her an ENERGY bar?" as Olivia catapulted herself around the room behind him like a human Pogo stick. I don't think these lowfat bars amp kids up - they are just filled with nourishment and 12 essential vitamins and minerals. They are also wheat free, so I can sneak a bite or a bar if I feel like it. Since they come in a variety of flavors including chocolate brownie and chocolate chip, Olivia's name for these bars is: "CHOCOLATE BAR!"

4. Dave's Killer Bread - One of our favorite activities is the Saturday morning Portland Farmer's Market. There's a Dave's Killer Bread stand there and Olivia can hardly wait to sink her teeth into a fresh slice of his 21 Whole Grains Bread. When she sees it coming: "Mmmm, yummy bread!"

5. YoBaby Organic Yogurt - This snack isn't as easily transportable, due to its perishable nature, but if you need a quick fix at home, these yogurt cups never fail. I love that they give Olivia her calcium intake since she doesn't drink milk. They come in a variety of yummy flavors, and they're refreshing and light. "Mommy, yogurt?" Olivia usually asks me for a yogurt cup before I even offer it.

6. Food Should Taste Good Chips - A big thanks to my sister for telling me about these. They are gluten free and scrumptious! We love the Olive and the Sweet Potato varieties the best, but you can't go wrong with any of these. Tonight, Olivia saw me eating these out of the bag and she walked over to me all offended and said, "I want some!" I love that there are only about 5 pure ingredients in each bag of these chips, and they boast a good fiber content. Olivia simply says: "Some? Some? Mommy?"

7. Sun-Rype Mini Bites Fruit Snacks - I've found it vexing that there's a gaping shortage of healthy gummy fruit snacks on the market. They are all loaded with icky ingredients and added sugar even when the label reads: all natural. Yeah, right. But we found Sun-Rype's Mini Bites at Costco and they have a wonderfully short, natural and pure ingredient list. Olivia calls them "Yummy fruit snacks!"

I hope these snack options help widen your repertoire, and if you have any favorite snack ideas you'd like to share, please -- by all means do so in the comments! Parenting is a constant journey to good snackage!


Joslyn Oppenheimer said...

great list! I also try and give my daughter the healthiest snacks possible when out and about and like you said, toting around a buffet table only to be toppled over by a toddler is NO GOOD! thanks for the tips

Petite Planet said...

Thanks, Joslyn! Please let me know if you come across any great snack ideas on your mommy mission too!

Julianna said...

Great list, Beth. Dave's Killer Bread has an outlet store near by and has loaves for CHEAP - surely cheaper than at farmer's market. Also, the chocolate chip clif z bars are D's favorite and she is most definitely amped up about 10 minutes after eating them. But, I agree, they are the best nutritious snack I've found besides fresh fruits and veggies. We'll have to try the Food Should Taste Good Chips! Thanks for the ideas.