Every time anyone walks by our toddlers with even a crumb of food dangling from their little finger, it’s game on. They say some animals can smell fear—toddlers can sense food. Every. Little. Bit of food.
Moms, dads, you must prepare yourselves for this stage of adolescent-like need for food. Never, NEVER let your cupboard or fridge be vacant of snacks.
Beeee prepaaaaared! *said in sinister voice*
But no, seriously. As we’ve moved through the toddler stage with all FIVE of our kids, one thing has remained constant. As long as they have *enough* food in their tummies, they are happy little campers. Yeah, they will keep begging for more. But supplying healthy, nutritious choices whenever hunger strikes will keep everyone smiling.
Snack Hacking! (for parents of toddlers)
- One of the best things to do when that toddler starts whining is to grab a snack that’s high in protein. Cheese sticks, some baby-friendly soft granola bars, and Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ (which have 2g protein per serving!) are a great place to start. Why protein? Because it will carry them through the rest of their day much better than snacks that are all fluff and no filling. Yeah, they could snack on animal crackers all day—because there’s no oomph to them. They won’t actually fill your little guy or gal (unless they eat enough to almost make them sick), just keep them busy.
- After they’ve had a bit of protein, reach for some healthy munchies. If your toddler has some chompers already and can manage harder foods, try some baby carrots (or those shredded ones are really great for younger kiddos!). Not so interested at first? Give them some (supervised) dipping sauce, even if it’s just plain yogurt (which is, guess what? Another great form of protein!). I could give my kids just about anything to eat as long as they have something to dip it in—it’s like magic. Try other veggies and fruits like this, too. If your child still won’t touch them, you can always fall back on Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™. Though they’re obviously not pure veggies, they one of the most brilliant integrations of veggies we’ve found in a tot-appealing snack. Good luck getting your littles to even realize there are veggies involved!
- If your toddler only likes certain snacks, try healthier variants of those snacks. It’s amazing how many new varieties are available now that incorporate real fruits and veggies. We’re thrilled that Gerber® is one of the best in this category with their healthy yet delicious Lil’ Beanies™! (Confession: the 15-month-old may or may not have actually pushed my hand away from the crunchy, savory, amazingness that were his containers of Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™, pictured. I say “were” because he devoured them. They are gone. #addicted.)
Okay, so you could say we’re a little biased. But can you blame us? After experiencing the goodness of Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ and the navy beans that give them their nutritious punch (minus the artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives!), it’s hard to go back to “normal” snacks. Having a go-to that’s as natural yet appealing (to both the kiddos and the adults!) is a #GerberWinWin moment for our whole family.
We heart Target for being our hub for awesome snacks such as these. Though I know most of us find it hard to pull ourselves away from Target period, finding winning products like this make it more and more addicting to shop there. So. Good. And look! So pretty. (Am I the only one who is just in love with Target’s decorating skills? Seriously. Marketing, people. You’ve got me where you want me.)
Anyway, if you want to get in on this action too (and I know you do), make sure you grab this coupon for Gerber® Lil’ Beanies™ at Target! And prepare for a life-changing awesome revolution to your toddler snack routine. ;)