Many moms search for the quick but healthy snack that will satiate their little munchkin’s appetite. But often times it feels like every meal is a mess, and a major undertaking. For those of you who have “little” ones (now toddlers) eating 5 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and then a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack), it may seem like all you ever do is cook and clean, before once again prepping for the next meal.
Keeping in mind menus that meet dietary needs, there is a simple snack that is not only easy to make and healthy, but also fun to eat. See below for ingredients and directions for a new spin on an old favorite simple snack or spread.
2 tbsp Peanut Butter
1 tsp Cinnamon
Peanut butter can be substituted with cashew butter, soy butter, etc. depending on dietary restrictions or allergies.
- Slice 1 banana
- Combine banana, peanut butter and cinnamon in microwave safe bowl
- Microwave for 30 seconds
- Stir mixture and microwave for another 10-30 seconds depending on preferred consistency and temperature
For thicker spreads, increase the amount of peanut butter used. For thinner consistencies, add 1-2 tbsp of soy milk or whole milk.
Suggested Ways to Sample Spread or Snack:
- Spread on whole wheat rice cakes, whole wheat ritz crackers or matza for a simple, but healthy snack
- Spread on whole wheat bread for a simple, but healthy sandwich
- Add to oatmeal or rice cereal to naturally sweeten the meal and add another leave of nutrients to the mix
This spread offers children protein, iron, potassium, fruit and potentially dairy and calcium (if you choose to add soy or whole milk), which allows you to hit a lot of food groups in one meal or snack. If added to a cereal, the thicker consistency also helps toddler’s further develop their spoon skills!
Babies and toddlers will love to play with this sticky spread, and it will feel like a “new” addition to the growing menu for your munchkin. Many babies love bananas (it is one of many mom’s staple “food on the go”), and most enjoy the sweet, sticky newness of peanut butter. Cinnamon is a great ingredient to introduce to your new foodie, and if you choose to add a drop of soy milk, you will be broadening their taste buds while including a heart healthy alternative to dairy and lactose that still provides protein and calcium in their balanced diet. Soy may also be a great substitution for children allergic to dairy or lactose.
While at first glance the mixture of mush may not look appetizing to you, it will be an exciting and delicious treat for your little one, and a great way to include many nutrients in one simple snack or spread.