Today I'm going to be talking about the importance of snacking for toddlers, and also sharing some delicious healthy yogurt toppings ideas for your little ones.
As adults, we often try to avoid snacking between meals, but for busy toddlers the right snack at the right time is just what they need. Their little tummies aren't big enough to take on board enough energy and nutrients from just three meals a day, so toddlers need two to three snacks in-between, to boost energy and fuel their explorations.
Snack time for toddlers is an ideal time to squeeze in some extra healthy foods, especially those all important fruit and vegetables. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a few bits and bobs popped in a bowl, a piece of fruit or a small bowl of yogurt does the trick. When you're out and about, Organix Goodies snacks are a great option too, as they're full of healthy ingredients, perfectly portioned and really handy for keeping in your changing bag or hand bag.
Since they were both small, my boys have always been hungry between meals, so I've always tried to use the opportunity to offer plenty of vegetables and fruit, and in true toddler style they'd often happily eat as a snack foods that they'd turn their nose up at the dinner table! Another food that I often offer as a snack is yogurt. Once they were weaned from breast milk, neither of my boys were ever big milk drinkers, and as we don't have any dairy in our main family meals (due to my husband needing to be dairy free) I've always found yogurt a great snack option to make sure they get a daily dose of calcium rich dairy foods.
When my older son was a toddler I used to buy yogurts marketed for children - to be completely honest, I'd buy whatever was on offer without much thought to the contents, but as I took more of an interest in what we were all eating and started reading the labels I was shocked at the sky high sugar levels in so many of them. I switched to natural yogurt (or thick Greek yogurt) but as my son was used to the sugary yogurts I had to jazz it up a bit or he wouldn't eat it!
After years of coming up with fun and healthy yogurt topping ideas, both my boys now love their yogurt and I feel a lot happier knowing exactly what is going into it. They still have the occasional children's yogurts (Yeo Valley children's yogurts have the lowest sugar content that we've found) but they're just as happy to eat our healthier compromise of natural or Greek yogurt too.
I buy large tubs of yogurt and portion them out into smaller reusable tubs for convenience - it's cheaper that way and more eco friendly. We use the Sistema yogurt pots as they're the perfect size for yogurt and leak-proof too.
I hope you'll find the following topping ideas useful - they're also fab for breakfasts or lunch boxes as well as a snack at any time of day!
8 Healthy Yogurt Toppings for Kids
Fresh or Frozen Fruit
Chopped strawberries and raspberries go perfectly with natural yogurt all the year around - use fresh fruit when they are in season and frozen the rest of the year around, but be sure to defrost them before eating! If packing in a lunch box, you can pop frozen fruit on top straight from the freezer - it will help to keep the yogurt cool and defrost enough to eat by lunch time.
Other fruits that work nicely with yogurt include blueberries (halve them first for younger children), blackberries, mango, peach, nectarine, plum, grated or chopped apple and banana. Try sprinkling chopped fruit on top or mashing it up and stirring it through the yogurt.
Tinned Fruit or Dried Fruit
Chopped tinned fruit is perfect for topping yogurt - look for fruit in natural juice rather than syrup for a healthier no-junk option. We love tinned peaches, apricots or a fruit cocktail mix, they add a lovely sweetness and you can use them all the year around - tinned fruit is particularly useful in the winter when there aren't a lot of seasonal fruits available.
Dried fruit is also a great option, be sure to chop larger pieces up for younger children though. Raisins, chopped apricots and banana chips all work nicely, but our favourite is coconut - stir through some desiccated coconut and top with flaked coconut for a really delicious healthy treat.
Another option is nuts - be careful to use flaked or chopped nuts to avoid choking - flaked almonds and chopped hazelnuts are a favourite here and they work nicely mixed with dried fruit for a tasty trail mix style topping.
Crushed Organix Snacks
We like to add a little fun to our yogurt by crushing up Organix snacks to serve on top. Pop a couple of mini gingerbread men into a small bowl and tap with the end of a rolling pin to crush, then sprinkle over the yogurt and serve with a few more on the side for dipping. Organix Oaty bars and Organix crispy bars are yummy with yogurt too - just crumble about a ⅓ of a bar with your finger tips before adding to the top of the yogurt.
All Organix products come with the No Junk Promise - always 100% organic, never any processed sugar or hydrogenated fat, never any colourings, flavourings, flavour enhancers or preservatives and clear, honest food labelling, so you know exactly what you are giving your children to eat.
Low-sugar Jam or Honey
If you're weaning your children off of the more sugary yogurts and want a healthier sweet option, try adding a small dollop of natural fruit jam. We love the St Dalfour Fruit Spreads as they're made with 100% fruit and no added sugar, or try making your own chia seed jam (Ciara from My Fussy Eater has a couple of great Chia Jam recipes).
A drizzle of honey makes a nice treat too, but remember no honey for children under the age of one! Maple syrup is also delicious with yogurt as an alternative to honey.
One bonus topping idea for you - my boys are always asking for those yogurts that come with a little portion of sweets on the side, but mean mother that I am, they're not on the menu in our house. We make our own healthier version with a few Organix Goodies Fruit Gummies to sprinkle on top instead and that keeps them just as happy!
What snacks do you feed your little ones? Do comment below or use #NoJunkJourney hashtag to join in the conversation with Organix across social media.
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Organix as a part of a series of posts for the No Junk Journey campaign. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
This post contains some Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.
I hope you found this post useful, please pin it if you did! For more easy healthy snack ideas and recipes, check out the snack ideas for kids section here on the Eats Amazing blog or pop over and follow my Healthy Snack Ideas Pinterest board for fresh and seasonal inspiration all the year around!