Last year I wrote a post about all my favorite snacks that I gave to my incredibly picky two-year-old when I wanted to try and get him to eat fruits and vegetables. Luckily, Em has proven to be a much better eater than her older brother. She always wants to be eating what we're eating, she loves fruits and vegetables, and she loves trying new food every chance she gets.
The main problem that we've had with Em is finding her a good collection of foods that she can eat, that she won't choke on. It's really common in children with poor trunk control and low muscle tone to expirience problems with chewing/swallowing/and choking. As Em has gotten older and stronger, most of these problems have gone away as long as she is eating in her high chair, but if we're eating on the go in her stroller, or in the car, we have to be very attentive to everything that goes in her mouth.
Over the last year or so we've really gotten into a groove with which foods do and do not work with Em, and she has some staples that she absolutely loves. I love hearing about what other parents give to their kids (because we could all use some new ideas right?), and so I figured that I would share what some of Em's favorite snacks have been to give you all some good ideas too!
Fruits and Veggies: We used to be die hard fans of the Del Monte fruit Burst pouches, but we bought the last 17 boxes at our local Kroger a few weeks ago when they were on clearance and we can't find them anywhere now. We're slowly converting over to applesauce pouches which Em doesn't mind, but Jay has a texture aversion to applesauce, so it's been a struggle for him. He's working on it though, and actually ate an entire applesauce yesterday for the first time.
Em also really loves bananas. She usually eats one every morning for breakfast which is a huge lifesaver. She wakes up in the morning starving to death, so she'll eat that in her high chair while I cook her oatmeal and get the house cleaned. She also really loved mandarin oranges and can typically eat an entire can in one sitting if I let her. We have to do canned oranges instead of fresh ones since there are still parts of the rind on the fresh ones and she can't chew through those too well.
Both of my kids absolutely love black beans. We usually go through one can of these organic spicy black beans from Kroger everyday. This is usually our snack in-between waking up from naps and eating dinner. I'm actually pretty proud that my kids love black beans since they're pretty nutrient dense.
Dairy: Like any family, string cheese and yogurt are a must. I like these full fat french vanilla yogurts from Yoplait since they have 150 calories per serving they give Em the extra bulk she needs since she's so thin. Pretty sure we're the only American's that spend most of their time in the grocery store looking for the yogurt with the most calories.
Pantry Foods: Em has always loved the strawberry filled Nutrigrain bars which are lifesavers when we need a breakfast on the go. Unfortunately Jay has never been on board with them, and needs milk and cereal every. single. morning. Another staple that both kids love are veggie straws. I never thought that I would be that mom who bought these all the time, but we totally go through a couple bags a month.
Another snack I really love for Em are these Lil Beanie snacks from Gerber. I love that they're made from beans and have two grams of protein per serving. They're also made from beans, which obviously this black bean loving family is a huge fan of. Most importantly though, I love that they dissolve easily in the mouth which means they're an easy snack to take on the go when we're in the car. It means that I can have peace of mind while I'm driving knowing that Em can eat her snack and she is significantly less likely to choke on something. I really can't even tell you how many times I've had to clean throw up out of my car, or pull over on the side of the road to help her because she couldn't swallow something in her carseat. The alternative to not letting her eat in the car is her screaming all the time so... #balance.
In partnership with Gerber.