Last summer I had the opportunity to do an email interview with Christine Coppa, the popular mom blogger and Yoplait Kids spokesperson – best known for her Mama’s Boy blog at Parenting.com and the author of Rattled! available at Amazon.com (Broadway Books, 2009). I thought these tips would be great to repost for those of you who are looking for easy snacks for toddlers.
We talked about ideas for quick and easy snacks for toddlers.
Me: I do not consider myself a good cook, but I love to feed ‘cool’ snack lunches for my 4 year old – things that are cheap and easy (think hotdogs cut to look like an octopus with carrot sticks on the side). Do you have any quick, cheap lunches that my 4 year old son would enjoy trying?
Christine: I definitely like to make snack time fun and use cookie cutters to cut whole grain toast into new shapes, or turn apple slices into ‘cars’ that (with some strategic cut-outs) zoom across the table before they’re eaten.
These days JD’s favorite snack is Yoplait Kids yogurt, which I know has something to do with the fact that Lightning McQueen from ’Cars’ is on the cup. It’s a snack I feel good about giving him because it has 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D. Occasionally, I’ll even make a ‘kiddie parfait’ with the Vroom Vroom Vanilla yogurt and some layers of cereal for a fun snack.
Me: We often find ourselves in the van between morning activities. What are some portable travel snacks for my son?
Christine: Yogurt Kids yogurt is a wholesome option we take with us all the time. I always keep pretzel sticks, whole grain crackers and rice cakes in my Jeep, at all times. These especially come in handy on the way home from school, when JD is starving for dinner. By the time we get home, he’ll play blocks, instead of raiding the fridge, while I cook a healthful meal.
Me: Sippy cups are so convenient in the car. Do you have any suggestions for transitioning to a more grown-up cup that doesn’t spill?
Christine: I’m not quite there yet with JD and I always pack a sippy cup for the car, usually with half water/half reduced-sugar juice. We will often bring along a yogurt cup or smoothie, or reduced-sugar juice boxes – those are pretty spill proof.
Me: What do you think of the ‘Eat Two Bites’ rule?
Christine: We use snack time as an opportunity to bond – talk about our day, make up funny stories and even sometimes play games. We like to count crackers, or other finger-friendly foods, which is fun for JD but also helps when I want him to eat a little more of whatever we’re having. For example, if there are eight carrot sticks on the table, I can have JD count out three and eat just those ones if he is feeling picky.
*Yoplait Kids has 9 grams of sugar per 3oz. The leading kids’ yogurt has 13 grams of sugar per 3oz.
What about you? Whar are some quick, easy snacks that you and your children both love? I’d love to hear!
***Thanks Yoplait & My Blog Spark for this opportunity!