Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Non-Dairy Snacking Simplified

Snacks are something I gave very little thought to before I became a mom. When I was hungry I just grabbed something to eat that sounded tasty.  But it goes to a whole new level when you have a little person who needs to eat 5 times a day and, if you're like me, you don't want to just serve carby crap all the time. I thought maybe I was weird that I had so much snack time stress.  But, after talking to other moms who have kids with food allergies, I found that lots of other people stress about this too.   I think sometimes we get too focused on what we can't eat, which prevents us from thinking of all of the things we can have.

A lot of the time I try to keep it simple and just offer a piece of fruit but sometimes I can sense that I'm going to get into a battle if I don't offer choices. Or sometimes I'm rushing out of the house and I don't really feel like carrying a ripe smelling banana in my purse. So I found that it really helped me to put a Post-It note on the fridge with a list of 10 or 12 things that my son could eat for snack time. That way I didn't really have to think about it ahead of time and if I needed any ideas, I could just consult the list.  I think the visual reminder is really helpful and it will take you about a minute to make your own sticky note right now!

Here is a list of suggestions, all of which take little or no preparation to serve. My child doesn't actually eat all of these things, some of them are ideas I got from other moms.  If you have any of your own, I'd love to hear them!
  1. cereal  
  2. mixed nuts or salted cashews 
  3. Trader Joe’s roasted seaweed snacks 
  4. peanut butter/almond butter 
  5. peas (We always have a bag in the freezer. I empty some into a bowl, add a little water and microwave for 1 minute) 
  6. raisins 
  7. freeze-dried fruit
  8. pretzels 
  9. larabars
  10. popcorn (We make air-popped but Whole Foods has dairy free microwave popcorn) 
  11. graham crackers 
  12. fruit snacks 
  13. fruit leather 
  14. almondmilk yogurt 
  15. Triscuits or Wheat Thins 
  16. hummus and pita 
  17. pumpkin or sunflower seeds 
  18. trailmix 
  19. baby carrots 
  20. lunchmeat roll up
  21. hardboiled eggs
  22. pickled beets from a jar (My son really loves these, I think they must be salty or something because he gobbles them up)  
  23. frozen blueberries (some kids don't even want them defrosted; they like gumming on them frozen)  

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