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Seven Easy-Peasy Toddler Snacks for School

When J started going to toddler school, one of my challenges was learning to pack healthy, but yummy and toddler-friendly snacks. Big C and I don't like the idea of feeding him those prepackaged biscuits that are so popular with kids, and fortunately, J isn't a fan either.

For me and my preschooler, snacks have to fulfill four basic characteristics. First, they have to be nutritious. Second, they have to be yummy, so J would eat them. Third, they have to be easy to prepare, and fourth, they have to be things that J can eat on his own in school.

I tried Googling for some ideas on healthy baon ideas, but most of what I got were lunch-type meals (especially in the Filipino context), so they weren't appropriate for preschool. Eventually though, I found some basic items that we rotate on a daily basis so J's baon doesn't get too boring. For mommies like me, who have to add "prepare healthy baon" to our never-ending list of things to do, here are some of my baon staples for J which are tasty, but also easy-to-eat and largely healthy toddler snacks for preschool.
  1. Fruits - My favorites to pack for J are grapes or bananas. These are a quick-fix since I just pack the bananas whole, and he can eat them by himself with no trouble. For the grapes, I pluck off about 15 pieces and wash them, so it's also one way for me to keep track of how much he eats in school. Apples are also a good snack, although I prefer to serve these at home because J doesn't like them when they're brown. I have heard of the lemon juice trick, but as with most kids, J's not a fan of the tart taste.
  2. Egg - The hard-boiled egg is one of my bestsellers. All you have to do is boil the egg, peel it, and slice into bite-sized cubes and you're good to go. This is a snack J can eat by himself, and he can finish one egg in the short snack time they have in school. 

  3. Bread - Sandwiches are always a quick and easy option. You can jazz this up by making homemade spreads when you have some free time, and stash in the fridge for a quick option on busy mornings. I don't really recommend buying the You can make chicken or tuna salad in big batches when you have some free time, and you'll have a back-up in the fridge for those busy mornings. J actually makes life easier for me, because he likes his bread plain, and all I have to do in the morning is to cut his bread in interesting shapes. I suggest investing in cute cookie cutters shaped like letters and numbers, so snack time can also be learning time.
  4. Cheese - The individually packed cheese slices are make great snacks. Once someone helps him open the packaging, he can eat on this snack on his own.
  5. Granola - I used to pack Cheerios for J's snacks, but lately, I discovered that my son was willing to eat granola. Go figure right? I chanced upon a bag of Mornflake oat granola with dried fruits in the grocery and bought it for big C. Well, Big C didn't like it, but it was a big hit with the kids! Both J and Little C like it, and I bring it in small containers as a quick snack when we go out, and of course, for J's school snacks.
  6. Yogurt drinks - J likes juice, but Big C and I don't like how most of the tetra-packed juices available have so much sugar in it, so as a compromise, I pack yogurt drinks for J. Somehow I feel that the yogurt factor makes it marginally healthier than just juice. Haha! Sometimes, it's good, old-fashioned Yakult (which I also loved as a child -- and still love as an adult) and sometimes, it's flavored yogurt drinks. My favorite brand is Dutch Mill, because it comes in a smaller serving than the normal tetra-packed drinks, and it's the right size for J to finish in one sitting. 
  7. Juice - Sometimes, I do give in and pack juice in J's snack bag. When I do give him juice though, Tipco and Apple & Eve are our brands of choice. Tipco has flavors like beetroot, carrot and broccoli, which DO NOT TASTE LIKE VEGGIES AT ALL! Like Tipco, Apple & Eve Fruitables juice boxes are a combination of fruit and vegetable juices, such as apple, orange, carrot, tomato, beetroot, sweet potato, strawberry and others. Plus, for some reason, whenever I pack these juice boxes in J's bag and it comes back empty, I feel like I've won some sort of battle, because I was able to sneak veggies into his body without him noticing. Haha! 
From this list of basic items, J's daily snack bag pretty much looks like this:
one hard-boiled native egg, one small container of granola, one Yakult and a tumbler of water
I hope this post has given you some ideas on what to pack for your preschooler tomorrow. :) Happy Monday, mommies!

2 comments:

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pastrylover17 said...

thanks for the info. love your blogs. =)

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