Finger Foods Make Mealtimes Fun
Finger foods are just the right size for little mouths and tummies. They make it easy for children to feed themselves, and they can help make healthy foods more palatable. Here are a few ideas for delicious and nutritious toddler finger foods:
- A fresh fruit plate: Cut up an orange, slice a banana, chop an apple, and cut a few grapes into quarters. The colorful variety appeals to kids, and the fruits are loaded with vitamins your children need.
- Dip your fruits and veggies: If your child absolutely detests fruit and vegetables, try dipping apples into caramel dip or bananas into chocolate syrup. Cook baby carrots in butter and a little bit of brown sugar to sweeten them. The nutrition-packed fruits and vegetables will more than make up for the little bit of extra sugar your child consumes.
- Frozen fruit pops: Another way to make fruit more appealing is to freeze it. Cut strawberries, pineapple, and bananas into little pieces. Put the fruit into little paper cups and top with orange juice. Put in a Popsicle stick and freeze. You can serve these pops frozen or partially defrosted.
- Put on a happy face: Spread peanut butter or cheese on whole wheat bread, and then let your child use raisins, chocolate chips, or other small foods to make a smiley face. Food is always more fun to eat when kids make it themselves.
- No-brainer cereal snacks: All toddlers love Cheerios and other low-sugar cereals as a snack or "appetizer." (Keeps them happy while you make lunch or dinner.)
- Wrap it up: Warm a tortilla in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. Spread with peanut butter and a chopped banana. Roll it up into a wrap, or use a tortilla to make a quesadilla. Put two tablespoons of cheese on half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of chopped, cooked broccoli or carrots. You can also add one tablespoon of chicken or ground beef, fold your tortilla in half and microwave for 30 seconds. Once the quesadilla has cooled, cut it into wedges.
- Ants on a log: The buggy concoction that we loved as kids is still popular today. Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on a piece of celery and top with raisins, or slice a banana and connect the slices with peanut butter, then add a cut grape for the head. Voila! You've made a caterpillar.