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Saving the Snack Emergency

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Prepare for any snack emergency with these simple tips that will decrease your stress and make your children happy.

You finish breakfast, lather on the sunscreen, tie down the hat, shove on the shoes and grab the diaper bag. You are ready for a trip to the park. After just a few minutes of sliding or swinging the whining begins: “‘nack…’nack” and you know what’s coming. Every mom of a toddler has been there. It’s the dreaded snack emergency. No matter what your toddler ate just moments earlier, she needs a snack NOW! This time you are prepared. You pull the emergency snack box out of the diaper bag and save the day!

The snack box is a simple concept based on offering many different choices to meet the ever-changing tastes of your toddler. It starts with a tackle box. Yes… a small fishing tackle box that you can buy at any discount retailer. Make sure the tackle box will fit into an insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack. Then, fill each square with various bite-sized foods. Research has shown that introducing new foods outside the home with other toddlers around can encourage kids to eat things they wouldn’t otherwise try. In addition, the snack box allows you to showcase these new foods without a lot of waste!

Snacks to save the day:

  • Bite-sized sandwiches: make a grilled cheese sandwich on whole grain bread and cut it into tiny pieces. Add some fried tomato slices in between the cheese to add more flavors. You can save half for lunch too!
  • Tofu chunks: cut extra firm tofu into bite-sized chunks and pan fry in a small amount of butter or butter substitute spread (non-hydrogenated) until brown around the edges. Make a big batch and keep them in the fridge for up to three days. Serve plain or with sweet and sour dip to give it a kick.
  • Dried cranberries, whole grain cereal, raisins and a small amount of shredded coconut will give your child energy to run up and down the play gym.
  • Whole grain crackers: break them into pieces to make them fit in the tackle box. Be sure to read the ingredients – if the first word is not “whole” – they’re not whole grain.
  • Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables: pineapple, strawberries, corn and peas are all available on the toddler food aisle or near the dried fruit in your grocery store and perfect to pack.
  • Pre-peel an orange and wrap tightly in plastic wrap for a juicy and refreshing snack.

The choices are endless and the box can be packed the night before a trip to the park, restaurant, and doctor’s office…anywhere a snack emergency may occur!

To discover amazing health benefits wrapped up in a snack see Super Snacks for your Super Kid.


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About the Author

Bonnie Johnson, MA, RD

Bonnie Johnson, MA, RD

Bonnie is a registered dietitian with a masters degree in nutrition education. She has a background in the food industry and R&D, and delivers credible, research-based information to her business partners to improve brand credibility and reliability.

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