Sometimes, it can be a challenge to get kids to eat, but here are 50 breakfast and snack ideas that are sure to give plenty of options for picky eaters!
Breakfast and Snack Ideas for Picky Eaters
Many of our readers ask, “How do I get my kids to eat? They are so picky and I’ve run out of ideas…”
It’s in a kid’s nature to be picky. It’s funny that kids will frown upon anything new. Our children will eat the same thing almost every day and then one day say, “I don’t like sloppy Joe’s”. Our oldest son eats pizza but does not like sausage pizza. One day recently, he tried the sausage and loved it. He said that he loved the little meatballs. When Mike told him it was good to see him eat sausage, he suddenly wouldn’t eat it. Later, we decided it was better to let him call them meatballs if that’s what it took to get him to eat it! Let this be a lesson to you – If you give the kids zucchini bread, just tell them that it is “bread”! ;-)
Kids’ eating habits could send a family to the poor house! Between pop-tarts, fruit chews, juices boxes and containers of cool applesauce it would be easy to spend the entire month’s grocery budget in one week. Here are some tips to help you find something they will eat while hanging on to some of that cash in your pocket.
Are you being squeezed? – The USDA recommends two 8 oz. (1 cup) glasses of milk per day for a child. If you give your kids more than two cups a day, everything over the 2 cups is just calories, and expensive calories at that. The same is true of juice. The USDA recommends 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for kids.
Did you know that for children under age five, 3/4 cup of juice is one serving of fruit? How often do you fill a glass to the top with juice for your child only to find that the child doesn’t drink most of it? Limit the amount of juice served to one or two small glasses a day and serve the rest of their fruit and vegetables in whole form. Whole fruits are more healthy for them than juice.
French Toast Sticks – After cooking french toast, cut each piece into 4 strips. Kids love to dip these in syrup.
Present oatmeal in a fancy glass such as a sundae dish. Place some homemade granola, fruit, honey, brown sugar or nuts on top.
Stir any of the following into oatmeal:
- cinnamon and sugar
- brown sugar
- butter or margarine
- maple syrup
- chopped apples
- dried apples
- chopped peaches
- jam or jelly
- plain or fruit yogurt
- wheat germ
- dark brown sugar and 1 drop of maple extract make oatmeal taste just like the store bought instant oatmeal
Have a snack sitting at the kitchen table for the kids when they come home from school. This way they won’t be grouchy in the afternoon from being hungry. This will also prevent them from digging though the kitchen cabinets looking for something themselves and messing up your neat, well-organized pantry. It is also the perfect time for you to sit and visit with them about their day at school.
To discourage bad snack habits, don’t buy unhealthy snacks or keep them in the house.
Present your snacks with a plate, placemat, napkin and maybe a flower from the garden. This way your snacks always look inviting.
Have jars sitting on the counter with sunflower seeds, raisins, granola, prunes or peanuts for the children. If they see healthy snacks they’re more likely to want them.
Try these snacks on your kids:
- Fresh fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Apples, cut into quarters, with core removed
- Popcorn balls
- Dried apples or bananas
- Oranges, peeled and quartered
- Pumpkin bread
- Banana bread
- Zucchini bread
- Crackers and cheese
- Frozen grapes
- Veggies with ranch dressing
- Celery sticks, spread with peanut butter
- Cherry tomatoes
- Strawberry leather
- Yogurt Popsicles
- Homemade granola bars
- Beef jerky
- Tortillas with cream cheese
- Peanut butter snacks
- Yogurt with fruit or wheat germ added
- Chocolate milk
- Homemade hot chocolate
- Creamy Orange Shake
- Milk shake
- Apples, quartered and cored with 1 tsp. peanut butter on each quarter
- Bananas sliced in half and spread with peanut butter
- Bread or toast cut into quarters and spread with jelly, jam, peanut butter, spiced honey or honey butter
- Crackers spread with peanut butter and jelly or jam
- Place some peanut butter and honey on a pancake and roll up for a snack. This is great for leftover pancakes.
Quick and Easy Snack Mix
If you need a really fast snack or treat for company or a party, go to your dollar store and buy a couple of boxes of caramel corn. Add things like candy corn, raisins,dried fruit, nuts, pretzels or any other candies and things you would like.
Be sure to hit after Halloween or Christmas sales to find candy to use to make this snack mix.
Hello. I just thought I’d share a tip I learned recently about oatmeal (after seeing your post of breakfast tips). We find re-heated oatmeal unappealing to serve again as a cereal. But the thrifty in me hates to throw it out. I learned recently to put it in pancake batter.
Just mix your batter normally and add in the oatmeal to the finished product. You may need to add just a touch of milk, but I rarely do. This actually makes the pancakes heartier as well as using up something that may otherwise go to waste. The same gal that told me of this trick also adds it to bread dough. I haven’t tried it yet, but look forward to doing so soon!
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Love your website! I especially love how you suggest keeping the portions of juice and milk to what they are actually supposed to be… a cup at a time! I’ve read several times people critizing you because they felt you were limiting your children’s intake of milk. Exactly how much milk are they giving their own children? Are they allowing their children to free-feed on dairy and juice all day long?? And we wonder why there’s a debt crisis AND an obesity problem in North America…
You are right Great People and Great Website Thank You!
This is a great website. I have a very picky 1 and 2 year old and you have some good ideas for snacks for them. We are also trying to pay off alot of debt while living on one income (with a mortgage we can’t afford) so this is my new favorite website! Thanks for your help.
Do you havea facebook page?
I used to be vegan and I would get the whole milk/calcium critique all the time. But I think people would be really suprised to hear how much calcium they can get from non-mikk sources, sources that have no fat and don’t cost as much. Spinach cooked has 245mg of calcium per serving and your daily intake is only 1200. all the cooked greens mustard and collards have over a 100mg. Strawberries have 21, fresh oranges have 52. Calcium is in veggies like carrots and broccoli, even cherries have 21mgs. Now if your kids are getting thier 5 a day of fruits and veggies that is probably more than half thier calcium intake. If you include enriched cereal, this adds even more calcium total has 258 and if a kid has a bowl for breakfast… well I guess this just blows the whole ” my kids need milk to get thier calcium” out of the water. Oh and jsut to put it in context a 1 cup serving of milk has 321mg of calcium.
Sometimes I think we way over think this food stuff and what we are feeding our families.You need to just make sure they have a reasonably nutritious diet. I have never drank straight milk from the time I was little. I just don’t like it. I will drink chocolate milk once in awhile but just to drink milk I won’t. I didn’t die from lack of calcium or anything because yes you can get it in other things.
People too go over board in making sure they are feeding their kids enough fruits and veggies feeding them too much forgetting that there is a serving of veggies in a 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce and things like that. We need to reach a happy medium because we either go over board counting every little bit of something which goes into our kids mouths or we don’t bother at all to make sure they have a balanced meal.
Amen!! Make sure your kids are happy and healthy and stop forcing stuff..
one vitamin you should make sure you have in your diet or supplements is Vit C.
when it was discovered I couldn’t eat citrus I started having tooth problems. My gums would bleed and ache a lot of the time.
Finally after 2 months found a dentist who told me that I had a mild case of scurvy. He told me to start taking vit.c and my problem would go away. It did within about a week.
Scurvy in Canada in 1994. hardly believable right. It happened to me.
My children didn’t have the problem because they ate green peppers all the time and that has more vit. c than oranges.
Just thought I would put this in for others to see.
We actually love mini bagels. I get them at Walmart for $2.50 a dozen. that’s about .20 cents for a breakfast or snack. they come in blueberry, cinnamon/rasin or plain. they’re a great road trip snack, small and not messy either.
Yeah, i get those too and make my own bagel bite pizzas. they don’t cost nearly as much to make em yourself and they freeze well. Your right Grandma, thats why I make sure theres lots of items that have vitamin C in my food storage. Like if I am drying fruits I will spray them with lemon juice for extra vitamin C.
What about picky husbands?
Picky husbands can be tricky.I have a very picky grown son and son in law (Tawra’s husband Mike) who drive their wives insane so we know what you are talking about. Here are a couple of tips you could try. Of course all of these depend on your relationship with your husband and his personality. If you are having problems in other areas like communication you have to fix those first before you can work on any thing. But if things are pretty good with you then here are a couple of things to try.
First figure out if he is truly picky or just prefers certain foods. For example lets say a man will not eat a hamburger when his wife fixes them for dinner saying he doesn’t like them but when they go to a restaurant he orders a hamburger or he doesn’t like tomatoes in a salad so he won’t eat the salad but will eat a tomato sliced on a hamburger. Bottom line is he isn’t picky he just doesn’t want to eat any salad and uses that as an excuse.
I am picky when it comes to onions. I won’t touch one in any shape or form. I have had people say to me I chopped them up real fine and you won’t even notice them. Yes I do. I almost hate it worse that way because bigger ones I can still eat the dish and just pick them out. But the thing is I don’t eat onions on any thing. That is pure true pickiness. If he eats certain foods at certain times and not at others that is not being picky. True pickiness is not liking the taste or feel of a food not matter what.
Next what do you do either way? First when ever it comes to dealing with husbands (or wives) don’t discuss these things in the middle of a fight or when either one of you have had a bad day. You are asking for failure and trouble. Pick a time when you both are in a good mood and relaxed. Then ask your husband his opinion on what he wants you to do or what you should do.
It is amazing when we actually ask our husbands in a kind loving way what to do on something the the good suggestions they can come up with sometimes.
The best thing of all though is if you are having trouble saving money because you have to buy expensive items for him is to ask him to go with you grocery shopping and use only the amount of money you usually have to spend and let him see how hard it is. I don’t know how many wives have done this and have written in to say their husbands were shocked at the prices of things and they radically changed. This is usually a real eye opener.
If it is a case not of money and spending too much for what he wants to eat but just wanting certain things then you could try what Tawra did. She said you will just have to get your own breakfast, lunch etc. because after so long of making meals and having no one eat them she really got tired of wasting the food and energy. This works for them Mike fixes his own breakfast and lunch at least. She does do dinner most of the time and tries to have one or two things he likes but now that the kids are older most of the stuff gets eaten by them so she doesn’t worry about the waste as much.
If all these things fail this may sound old fashion but if he still refuses to change you will just have to do the best you can and not worry about it even though I know it is frustrating. If he is wanting you to buy more expensive foods for him then he needs to come up with the money for it and needs to be the one to figure out how to do it.
When our first kids were born 13 years ago, I was vegan and only ate vegan and only cooked vegan. Meat was rare in our house. My DH is a meat eater and of course he would eat out and not eat at home. He refused to eat soups or salads. This kept on for about 5 years and at some point I compromised and started cooking meat meals. At this point he had a nice job and we could afford what I find outrageous prices for meat. Last week he lost his job and to my surprise readily agreed to going to 2 meat meals a week – both involving stretching meals (a meal without a hunk of meat – my favorite stretching meal is on sale meat with in season vegetable stirfry served on whole grain of choice) and on sale meat. He has willingly ate soup. And even munched on the vegetable tray I feed the kids. He hasn’t said once I can’t have that (he is diabetic, I never make anything he can’t have..he just says that when he doesn’t want what I have cooked) I’m not sure the change will last. But I think sitting down with me and seeing the costs of his favorite meals made a difference. Also I showed him the fixed costs versus our savings and he realizes we can’t afford the grocery bill we had before. As is without any income coming in, we have saved a 12 month window for him to find a job. He whines over his milk though – he wants his milk. He has been drinking way too much milk which has been stopping his weight loss program and I am glad the milk is gone. He did drink the milk I had planned for my meal making another trip to the store, but.. it is an adjustment. I’ve always been of the opinion that water is a beverage, milk is for babies and anything else is a luxury. My kids are not picky though, they eat everything. If the money is there and the husband is picky, I don’t mind indulging him, but the moment the indulgence steps on the budget, something has to go….
My kids were picky. I stopped catering to their tastes when one day I was fixing 3 different dinners. That was a wake up call. So I stopped and my kids had to eat what was served. If they didn’t, then nothing to eat until breakfast. There was only a handful of times they refused to eat. Now they are teens and still complain about meals but do eat their dinners. I’m amazed that they have friends whose families STILL cater to their pickiness. For the most part, I plan meals I know they’ll eat. They don’t get too many “yucky” dinners.
FYI: My sister is a dietitian, she taught me that our taste buds change about every 14 days so we can retrain ourselves to like or dislike foods.
We had four children in 22 monthes. A single birth and then triplets. I literally did not have time to fix special foods for those who didn’t like
the food being served. If they didn’t eat, then they had to wait till the next meal , no snacks inbetween.
We have friends who have three children who were amazed that our children ate what was set before them.All their children are picky eaters.Incidently, mom is a picky eater. What I’ve noticed is that if one of the parents is a complaining picky eater,then some of the children are too.
Think about it , if your’e really hungry even plain bread tastes wonderful.It depends how hungry you really are.
I have to be honest and say that the subject of “picky eaters” grates on my nerves. Americans are SO SPOILED! How dare someone be “picky” about food when so much of the world is starving. In Haiti the people are so poor they mix dirt with butter and salt to make a “cookie” to eat. People that are picky need a reality check on just how lucky they are to have food at all. I had to vent about this subject. Picky eaters need to educate themselves about what goes on in this world. That should “cure” the pickiness.
Much of the world lives in a poverty that we cannot even imagine. I have a friend that has lived all over the world–his father set up water filtration plants for American companies overseas. He said that he is disgusted about the attitudes most Americans have towards food. He attributed it to nothing more than arrogance. And the waste was sickening to him. To me, the only time menus should be tailored is when there are medical issues. Other than that I make what I make. I put nutritious meals on the table whenever possible. When money was super tight we ate only what was on sale. Take it or leave it. If the husband (or teens) can do better, they had my blessing.
Bea, you said it so well. We are spoiled by the embarrassment of abundance in this country. Most of us – stress on most, not all – have no idea what real hunger is. I berate myself frequently for being distracted sometimes by “healthy” diets, like whole-food-plant-based or paleo or other. Worrying so much over organic, non-GMO, macronutrients, specific ratios of omega 3s and 6s, etc. is such a first world indulgence!
Just this past week, my dad, who was born in the mid 20s and so remembers the Depression, told me about his father bringing home bread with mold on it (more than once), and that his mother simply cut off the mold, sliced the remaining bread and they ate it…because there was nothing else. Period.
That set me back on my heels. I try so hard to eat a healthy diet, forgetting that just being grateful for every maouthful is the start of health and certainly contentment.
Sometimes I wish I could forget all the nutrition fluff I have ever read, and then just say a prayer of gratitude before I enjoy some of the abundance of safe, affordable food we are blessed with in the US.
My best to you all.
That is so true K2. I remember my mom always telling the story of how they would visit her grandparents and would pour syrup on their pancakes and if it had red ants in it her grandparents said to eat it anyway. So many always say they want to go back to the good old days when people at so well from their own gardens and things and I say they don’t have a clue to the reality of what it was really like.
sometimes being picky is the way your body tells you that what you are eating is not good for you.
As a child and into adulthood my husband hated pork. He ate the smallest amount allowed in his home. Turns out he was allergic to something in the not processed pork,he can eat bacon and ham but not pork chops or roasts or things.
I always watched what my boys didn’t eat. If I tried the same ingredient in different ways and they still didn’t like it I didn’t cut it out of the diet just didn’t use it as often.
It was one way to find out what allergies they had to food. Skin tests didn’t work since their types of allergies were cerebral and more difficult to spot.
The line mothers always used was (some child in China would love to have a meal like that) She used China because we knew so little about China back then well one night my sister went to the kitchen found a cereal box put her plate in it brought it to my mother and said “then let them have it” Mom stopped using that line but we usually ate what was served at any meal.
Sometimes the pickiness is caused by the smell or the texture of the food. Try different ways of cooking something to change it a bit.
My DIL hates fish and refuses to not only eat it but also stay in the house as it is being cooked. It is the smell she hates and can’t get it to her mouth to try it.
There is usually a reason for a dislike and if you can figure out what it is you can over come it.
This is sometimes true grandma. My son refused to eat nuts for years and finally to be polite when his uncle bought him some candy with nuts one night we made him eat them. Boy did we pay for that one he throw up blue cotton candy all over my beige carpet (it was never the same again) and instantly broke out in hives and started swelling up.
I actually try to get 3-4 1 cup servings of milk in my kids every day (less if they’re eating cheese). We aren’t vegetarians but we usually eat meat once a day or less. Milk is $1.79 at Aldi’s for me and we usually drink about 4 gallons a week. I think this is a good price-1 cup of milk is only about 12 cents. My kids are incredibly picky, 2 with Asperger’s, they won’t eat unless you give them something they accept, and getting milk in them is relatively easy. I have kids that won’t eat: rice, beans, sliced bread, all fruits (except for apples, berries, and watermelon), lettuce, cabbage, onions, sloppy joe’s, cheese (except on pizza), hot dogs, hamburgers, yogurt, tuna, spinach, cooked carrots, broccoli,honey; the list goes on for quite some time. If you lie to them and tell them casserole X doesn’t have ingredient Z in it-they will find out and then not eat what you prepare for them.
One way to help picky eaters eat something (if they are not allergic to it) is to chop it up fine in a small food processer, then add it to the dish. I do this with chunky canned tomatoes before adding them to a soup. Also with canned beans. My son suddenly decided he can’t eat whole beans. Run a can full through the mini processer, add to taco meat or soup, and he chows right down, declaring how good the dish is! But then, my husband almost can’t eat the chopped version; he likes to see what is in his food!
My youngest refused to eat peanut butter the first time I gave it to her, then broke out in hives. She is also allergic to dairy so I always have to plan ahead for something for her to eat of we go away.
My oldest is autistic, and VERY food sensitive. For years, about all he would eat was chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, pop-tarts, pizza, mashed potatoes with gravy, spaghetti, ‘noodles’ (Lipton noodles and sauce) and grilled cheese. For ages I would fix dinner and make him something special for I knew there was no way he would touch what I had made. As in don’t dare put it on his plate or he wouldn’t eat anything on it. You still have to make sure his foods don’t touch each other or he grosses out. Thankfully, after years of exposure to certain dishes, he has decided to try them. He now eats a fairly wide variety of foods.
My dad, however, is 65 and will hardly eat MANY things. They do not eat in nice restaurants. It is hamburger joints. Nice for them is “Logan’s Roadhouse” where he will have grilled chicken or a hamburger. He eats pancakes, hot dogs, soup, spaghetti, spam (?!?!), and pbj’s. He won’t touch ham or pizza with a ten foot pole. We have pizza, he eats something else. Bless her heart, my mom just doesn’t hardly cook anymore and I can’t blame her. They eat out daily, sometimes twice a day at the places he will eat. Oh, and if my dad isn’t autistic (like my son) I will eat my shoe. He has never been diagnosed, but they are EXACTLY alike in personality and temperment.
My husband is a picky eater (although he will deny it). Mostly just with vegetables – he doesn’t really like them, but he does eat a lot of fruit. He will occasionally eat carrots, broccoli if it’s almost raw, cabbage and peas but won’t eat them all the time, and won’t eat carrots if they’re cooked in a stew. He loves the idea of eating corn on the cob but can’t stand corn! However, whenever I make a tomato pasta sauce I load it up with grated carrot and zucchini (also tried pumpkin but he wouldn’t eat that). Whenever I make a meatloaf or burger patties they have very finely chopped (food processor) vegetables in them. He will eat soup that has some vegetables in it too. He uses the thought that his body would tell him to eat them if he needed them – I don’t buy into that as my youngest daughter is intolerant to dairy products but if we let her she would eat them to the cows come home. Now, I’m not sure if it’s because the food she can eat is restricted but she seems to eat everything else. Even at four she is a really good eater and there is not much that she would turn her nose up at. And the calcium thing – she must have got a good supply of calcium from the other food she eats because for about two years I didn’t realise that the rice milk she was drinking didn’t have calcium in it and she’s been fine. Friends of my girls come over for the day and it’s really hard to feed them – one of them won’t eat sandwiches! Most of them don’t like veges or will only eat a certain type of chicken nugget (not that we have them in our house except for special occasions). Our girls love food but are also aware of healthy eating habits. We’ve been pretty lucky really with our girls’ eating habits, but I also don’t pander to what they say they like and disklike. My 7 year old often asks what’s for dinner and when I tell her what it is she tells me she doesn’t like it but then when she tastes it she realises she does, or if she doesn’t she knows that’s what’s for dinner and eats it (so obviously the dislike wasn’t that bad after all!)
What to do with an adult family member who’s a picky eater, diabetic, AND way overweight? His basic idea of a meal is always some sort of meat with either corn, green beans, or peas. He very rarely eats salad, and then only wants certain things in it.
Instead of a salad make a relish plate with everything you would have put in the salad.
I have done this for years and both my sons love fresh raw vegetables and even most vegetables cooked.
My husband started liking the things that went into the salad so now we have salads for every dinner when we eat together. for his night shift he gets home at 3am so he likes a big bowl of fruit and a few vegetables in the mix.
You can serve a small bowl of the salad dressings to be used as a dip.
My husband is diabetic almost to the point of insulin shots so he has become more conscious of what he eats.
We have fish and chicken a lot served in different ways and that substituts for pork which he can’t eat often.
He loves fish and chips well anything deep fried.
I serve this but instead of the thick batter on it I make a tempura batter just enough of batter to keep him happy and less fattening and also it cooks faster than the traditional he gets less fat in his diet.
I have found that steaming fish he likes, so I steam fish sometmes in broth sometimes in flavoured water (dill, salt and pepper) and sometime in white wine if I have a bottle almost finished in the fridge or if I want a glass myself. Can’t use his as it is red wine which he drinks to keep his circulation going better.
I steam those small already peeled carrots and he loves those. eats them raw as well. If I peel carrots he refuses them. I think it is a mind set. His mother cooked everything until it was dead and ready for buriel.
Those small potatoes that you can buy all year long now he likes them but big potatoes must be whipped. but the little ones I can serve as is or flatten them top with a cheese and broiled after they have been cooked are late night snacks instead of chips. From 7 bags of chips a week we are down to about 4 a months.
In the past year he has gone from 260 down to 220. he is still loosing which is good.
Me I have stopped since I can’t walk far without almost falling down so he drives me when I have to go out.
Pain in the butt that but what can I do.
Keep working at it and don’t get frustrated. I have been doing this for 36 years and will do it forever just to keep him healthy and active until old age takes us. Hopefully together.
Grandma, the family member I’m thinking of already is on insulin (twice a day). Unlike your husband, my family member shows no interest in getting better.
Grandma, what do you typically put in and on your salads?
Jackie you have me thinking on that question.
I go to the fridge and anything that looks interesting is usually added at least to my salad.
I make them individual because it always seemed a waste to find what a person won’t eat sitting in the bottom of the bowl.
I start with lettuce all different types leaf lettuce, iceburg and some chinese cabbage spinach then I add cucumber, shredded carrots, green onions and some vidalia as well. A bit of celery, little tomatoes, croutons on mine but poppy seeds or sesame seeds on Dons. Also bits of apples or pears if I have them in the house.
I keep them small or shredded since the harder vegetables are hard to eat just cut up for Don since he has false teeth. Also if they are cut small nobody really knows they are eating something new.
Don will eat any salad if it is covered in Thousand Islands dressing. But when we are out and the restaurant has a salad bar he tries Italian or french dressing.
For me I keep 2 or 3 different ones all open at the same time. Creamy cucumber, Italian, Coleslaw or Ceasar. Sometimes if I find one too strong for that day I will mix it with Coleslaw to tame it down a bit.
If I make a salad for lunch by myself I add some tuna fish or chicken or steak that is left over from the night before. Then I add a bit of vinegar and oil or Italian the meat makes it a meal.
I can’t eat fresh vegetables as a diet dish because they just make me hungry so I have to add meat or I am hungry about an hour later.
I like trying the new vegetables from other parts of the world and daicon radishes are great as they are not as hot as the red ones we traditionally get here. Pepper from green to red and those tiny tomatoes that come in all colours and shapes.
In a salad you only need a bit so you can try new things without having to have a large portion, I think that is why I love salads.
I have even been known to take frozen vegetables thawed them out and put those in as well. The asian blends are great for this. They are so colourful, and they have snap peas in the mix and they stay crispy. Left over corn is good as well.
Oh yes forgot fresh mushrooms
Like I said Anything goes.
Jill and Tawra I am not able to walk today so I was sitting reading over some of your older posts.
This one caught my eye and I am offering some changes since a few of your snacks are not the healthiest.
I know they are snacks so not served in large amounts but over time the results could affect health.
# Apples, quartered and cored with 1 tsp. peanut butter on each quarter
Why not just serve the apple plain. They don’t usually require any sweetening and with all the different types available why change a food?
# Bananas sliced in half and spread with peanut butter
they are so sweet already they are telling people with diabetes to avoid them. So why add the peanut butter unless you are trying to make someone gain weight due to health issues.
# Bread or toast cut into quarters and spread with jelly, jam, peanut butter, spiced honey or honey butter
For a young child this would constitute a meal not a snack. Many times we came home for lunch from school and this was lunch along with in winter soup or summer a glass of milk.
# Crackers spread with peanut butter and jelly or jam
Instead of adding the stuff on top. buy some of those fancy flavoured chips. penquins, fish, cheddar or sour creme and onion chips. keep them in small bags with one serving per bag. chips won’t be soggy if left out for snack time and everyone can grab their own flavour like.
Beef jerky this is so loaded in salt and this is why they sell it in bars. makes you drink more beer.
alternative would be a slice of cold meat wrapped in a lettuce leaf with a piece of cheese. a bit more work but less sodium. Jerky is a life long snack and the sodium is bad in doses that high.
# Veggies with ranch dressing
# Celery sticks, spread with peanut butter
add the celery to the vegetables with the dip. use cheeze whiz instead of the peanut butter or better yet some hard cheese they can place in the celery.
For breakfast if your little ones want the sugar cereals buy one box and a bigger box of plain cereal like rice krispies or special K and mix them. You get about 2 boxes of cereal and only a small amount of it is sweetened but little ones don’t really notice the difference once they are out of the store. They only know mom gave in on this one. Nobody wins nobody loses but the bill is down.
I think I have said it here before but my sons when they were little called soda crackers cookies. they went to granny’s once and she said do you want a cookie. Well yes so she brought out these chocolate covered monstrosities and the boys turned them down. The oldest went to the cupboard and explained that the crackers were real cookies. Granny was arguing with a 4 year old when he said that “granny you are a granny and mom is a mommy and she knows better what little children like. these are cookies. those are for dessert.” That was the way it was in our house. sugary stuff was for the table after you ate what was on your plate.
I like your list I just think if you keep it simpler it would be more healthy and just as interesting for little ones to enjoy.
If you have a dehydrator, you can make your own lower-sodium beef jerky.
Katy, I now have 2 dehydrators running almost constantly. Started with a few apples. Well my husband stopped eating chips but he likes to crunch on something so the apples are done to the crispy stage and I have trouble keeping up with his demand on them.
Now I do beef jerky one small roast a week. I marinate it in Worcester sauce red wine some roasted garlic, dehydrated onions and a tsp of salt. He loves it so that is now on the weekly list.
I dehydrated all my own onions, carrots and cauliflower. Those are going to be christmas presents mixed in a home made powdered soup mix for my mother.
My son is going to get very spicy jerky, and the list goes on.
Dehydrators are great for health and using things that are hard to keep on the shelf fresh.
Another thing to do with the dehydrator is if you see the veggies in your fridge are not getting eaten fast enough and might start going bad the pop them in the dehydrator. You can do this with carrots, peppers, onions etc. Even though they may not be huge amounts you can keep a jar or container of them on the shelf the way you do your leftover container of meats and veggies in the freezer to use for soups and other things. Same goes for fruits.
As far as adding peanut butter to things – a snack with vegetable/fruit and protein is good – especially for those struggling with their weight – an apple in itself is digested quickly often giving a hungry feeling quicker. This would be especially true for teenagers. My teenagers could come home and eat a whole bag of plain apples. Having sliced apples dipped in peanut butter and they eat one and are full until dinner time. The peanut butter I buy – normal brand doesn’t contain sugar. Spreadable cheese is an alternative but not cheese food in my opinion. I also for health reasons would go with crackers covered with stuff – whole wheat crackers and cream cheese or nut butter is again in my opinion a healthier snack than fancy artificially flavored crackers. And more filling. Now admitting I’m not sure what is better on the budget. Snacks in our house – cut up vegetables, the peanut butter apple, whole wheat crackers and topping of choice or a sandwich. Basically I find my teenagers are starving after school so they get a mini-meal. Soup from the pot of soup I keep on is another idea for the starving teenager. I also find the 5 mini-meal principle helps keep my DH’s blood sugar stable. And keep him from grabbing whatever he can eat when he gets hungry. I’ve always been a grazer myself. I have 5 or 6 small meals a day and I feel better. I think it all depends on a person’s metabolism and activity level. I know on non-active days I don’t eat as much.
Wow! I’m blessed that my children don’t have any food allergies, but I followed my mom’s example with my children when they were very young. If they didn’t eat their meal, it was saved for the next meal, then the next meal, then the next day, until they ate it. And it was not warmed up. They learned quickly (like once) that they ate what was put on their plate. Best way to cure “pickiness” is to never let it begin.
Yeah saving your kids food for the next meal then so on til they eat it is great but more often than not my wife (who grew up spoiled rotten where her mom made something different for each family member) will give in and eat the kids food so she can make them something else. Her eating the extra servings is making my kids even more picky and is not healthy for her or my pocket book.
I have a husband and 6 children. Some are picky, some not so much. After years of struggling with conflicting taste buds i decided, i dont care what anyone likes. We’re living on one income and I’m trying to stretch the dollar so if you don’t like it starve! It may sound cold and uncaring but it’s far more frustrating to try to accommodate 8 different people. I don’t force my kids to eat foods they don’t like but they only have two options, eat what i make or go hungry. From that I’ve learned there are very few foods they won’t eat.
I would like to add a comment about the picky eaters which expands upon some previous comments. I work as an occupational therapist and, while this is not my area of practice, I know that there are some kids (and adults!) with sensory issues. Their brains do not register the sense of touch the way most people do. Think about when you have worn a shirt with a scratchy tag on it. Now multiply the intensity of that sensation–imagine that every item of clothing gives you that scratchy feeling. Miserable, right? Well, our mouths are highly sensitive as well. What may feel smooth and creamy to me may feel lumpy and slimy to another person. It isn’t the flavor that the person objects to as much as the “mouth feel”. The incidence of this occurring is especially high with kids with other issues such as autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, etc., although it can also occur on its own. If you have a kid who seems especially “picky” (you may also notice, as mentioned above, that they are also fussy about clothing, activities on the playground such as swings/merry-go-rounds) then it would be well worth your time to ask your pediatrician for a referral to an occupational therapist skilled in treating sensory disorders. He/she can assess for a problem and provide treatment (one of the most common forms of treatment is teaching the parent/child to “brush” his arms/legs with a special brush–this helps “re-wire” the brain to understand what “normal” sensation is). There are other techniques as well but that should give an idea of what to expect. It has a high rate of success for reducing the “pickyness” and some people are able to virtually eliminate it. The younger the child is, the easier it is to achieve success, so if you think this is a problem, check it out! Sooner is better than later! Hope this is helpful.
grizzly bear mom
peanut butter is offered because the fat is satiating. Also, please need protein sometimes. Grandma mom used to insist that we try everything on the table. So we all fought for the smallest piece of liver. After grandma died we could have what was on the table or a peanut butter sandwich. I also have very sensitive skin and can’t stand the texture of some foods like yogurt, pudding, oatmeal, etc. I just can’t swallow that stuff.
It has been my experience that if you sit down to eat with your kids from the time they start to eat at the table, and you let them help prepare foods when they are old enough to help, a lot of picky eating issues get taken care of. If you always eat together the kids learn what they see. If they help make the food, they are more likely to eat it, even if it means trying something new. If you can keep eating time as stress free, and “rush” free as possible, all that helps. Each of my kids were allowed one or two genuine dislikes amongst their foods, but everyone had to try a little of something new. Otherwise, the rule at our house was take it or leave it, with no snacks or options until the next meal. We had very few food issues.
Cathy @ tips4livingbetter.com
I really like the recipes you have shared and will definitely try out some of them.
What a wonderful roundup of snack ideas! Thanks so much for including my baked applesauce!
wow, I love this!!! Amazing snack idea most of them are my favorite. Thanks for this
I love the idea of putting oatmeal in a fancy glass. Oatmeal is so frugal and I grew up not liking it, but i’ve learned you can add so many things to make it more enjoyable. I am thankful that my kids seem to love oatmeal!
Thank you for the ideas. My picky eater (grandson) is with me 24/7 and attends the daycare where I work all day long so I have no time to serve healthy meals at home. He refuses to eat the daycare food so fast healthy foods to grab and eat at the daycare is vital. Some of these will be very helpful. Thank you.
I have saved 120 – 150 a month just following the basic rules. And I am no longer fearful of those discounted racks. Basing my menu on the sales that week really works too!