Saturday, April 22, 2017

Baby and Toddler Snacks Review~ (Lots to Review)

Since my little one is enjoying more and more snacks, I thought maybe I could write my first review blog post for toddler snacks! After all, I am beginning to become somewhat an expert on the matter, with the amount of snacks and baby foods we have went through.

So, we will be reviewing baby and toddler snacks, including in the article which ones are her favourite's and also listing the costs, but I definitely advocate making your own snacks from scratch if you have the time.  First off, it's a healthier snack for your child with no chemicals and you know what you are feeding them, as well as it's more economical. While every child's preferences are different, healthier snack choices tended to be a win-win with her and when she enjoyed them that made it easy to give her more nutrition at snack-time.  If you have a fussy eater, as mine can be at times, then it really is great when you can pack in nutrition with a snack.  With that being said, I will be posted an awesome recipe I tried and made for my little one.....we both loved them!

So far, we have tried a variety of puffs, and more of the individually wrapped bought snacks are for the "road", so I try to serve other snacks if we can such as toast and peanut butter or cottage cheese or even more small salads and fruits.  But for the on the go snacks, I can put them into the front pocket of the diaper bag and load  a bottle of water for the side pocket and know I have something to serve in a jiffy if we don't stop anywhere there is food, or if we are somewhere and decide to sit and enjoy the weather for a bit of time, well then I have something to let my little one munch on.

To start with, we tried more fruitful tastes, and that is the "Parent's Choice Little Puffs- Blueberry, sweet potato and also she has tried the apple flavor.  She dislikes these, anytime -but once she ate some when offered.  These are not organic, and so perhaps she has advanced taste buds to know this, because they get spat on the floor.   At $1.97 each plastic bottle container, sorry Parent's Choice.  In fact, they were thrown away because they just became another thing that went stale in the fail section.  More on Puffs here for the health conscious parent's to review: Puffs Guide courtesy of "Gimme the Good Stuff" website.  Noticing there are healthier options than I may have found or listed, then perhaps you can try and review some for yourself., such as Sprout brand's quinoa puffs.

 Also sorry, to Love Child Organics brand because this wasn't a great snack in terms of taste. These are not a puff but a similar size for snacking, the organic banana "Toodle-O's" by this brand went wasted.  I tried them too and it was indeed an acquired taste.  Unfortunately, the price wasn't very cheap, now listed at $3.47 (Walmart), I found that price has since lowered since I purchased them to try, and my little one didn't prefer them at all so it's a lot of pennies down the garbage.  Now that isn't to say she may like them now, if her tastes have change or something else made by this brand.

Gerber Lil' Crunchies cheese or vegetable puffs, which should be sort of healthy as they are baked and it is a toddler type cheezie, at least in my mind but try telling that to my little one.  Needless to say, she did not like these too much but still would eat some of them if nothing else was offered.  To be honest though, I had given her awhile to try them out and even after sometime she shunned them and wasted them on the floor, and I had tried the mild cheddar and also offered her the 'veggie dip' flavor. Both flavors could just be better, as they are sort of bland and there are certain additives in this brand's crunchies I prefer not to feed my child.  Priced at $2.77 for a tub is not bad though, perhaps your little one would like them.

PC Kale and Broccoli Organic corn puffs, similar to the cheese puffs, but have more vegetable taste. She loves them!  She had already polished off 2 containers. I must get more, since they are organic and healthy with greens in them- so to speak..  So these are a huge win in my books! Recommended for 1+ years old.  $2.89 last year at the No Frill's store.

Yogurt bites, one of the more pricier toddler snacks in my budget seem to be a hit, since my child loves all brands we tried.  I since stopped buying them though since, natural yogurt purchased from the grocery store has the more beneficial probiotics in it and is a cheaper deal.  We add different flavours to the plain yogurt, according to how we feel.  Sometimes some cinnamon and maple syrup or other times we may add some sweet fruit jam.  So that becomes a better snack and is multi-use. There wasn't a pack that was wasted and including Parent's Choice mixed berry, Gerber mixed berry, although we don't like chemicals in it, and the prices were not cheap for a small pack so we opted to only try these a couple times.  Gerber's is around $3.87 per pack and Parent's Choice is about a dollar cheaper.

Rusks, including Baby Mums (Rusks) at $2.67 and Parent's Choice at $1.98 each box, both brands come in a box and inside are the individually packages.  Great for on the go snacks and can be eaten easily without choking; but that's not saying don't watch your kids when they are eating.  They do need monitoring. My daughter loves flavours but more so the kale and vegetable ones.  She has had a lot of other flavors like the apple, banana, plain or pumpkin ones.  We are finishing up the last pack of these today actually, and I won't be buying anymore since they seem like a very young baby's snack now, though there are "Toddler Mum Mum's".  I may see if I can find them and now I had a couple left, I had been putting peanut butter on them being kids need extra protein and iron and such.  So my little one can enjoy a bit more protein and taste.  Those 2 snacks, peanut butter and milk and most times a half banana, and she loves it!

In the animal crackers category, we have tried Mr. Christie Original Arrowroot cookie biscuits priced at $3 (which in the last while since starting this post have been recalled in Canada), Great Value Organic Animal Cookies which are sold in a box priced at $2.77,  with six individually wrapped packets, and finally we have yet to try the Parent's Choice Kid's Organic Animal Cookies.  Those seem more suitable than either of the previous animal cookies brands we have tried.  Our box of Mr. Christie Arrowroot cookies were tossed to the fail section since they were not one of the dates that were recalled per say but very close to it.  Better to be safe than sorry, and we did have some before we were of the aware of the recall of which  I gave her some to try in small pieces and broken in more than two, but I am always fearful of her choking.  I didn't think the texture was so great for a little one.   The Great Value Organic Animal Cookies are even more hard to chew, even for an adult and so I did not give her any of those and they became my snack to gnaw away at after she went to bed.  Similarly, I had a bright idea to buy Great Value Gluten Free Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies in individual packets as well, similar style as the animal cookies.  They were very tough to eat, small and could break a tooth, in fact I do not think they were supposed to be that hard so needless to say I did not give those to my child at all and ate some myself but had to throw some out since they were inedible. It was not worth my while to take the time out of my day to take them back.

Some cookies were just fine but still most were hard as a rock, and some of the best in my opinion were the Mi-Del Gluten Free Arrowroot cookies which were about $3.97 and mostly I ate them.  I bought them a little bit prematurely and realized my child wasn't quite ready for those, at around 8 months old.  I may have also tried the Great Value Gluten Free Animal Cookies priced at $2.27 but I forget what we thought of those, if I recall they were pretty good actually.

But out of all those brand name snacks, plain unsalted crackers; with some butter lightly spread on or peanut butter is still a good go to for my child.  She loves that and so sometimes, it is the simple things in life that become the ones you win with.  Lately, it's been all about Joe's Tasty Travels brand Roasted and Hulled Sunflower Seeds for $3 per bag.  No salt, which is good and this is the only approved "nut" my child can have at her age.  Don't feed them whole nuts they can choke on, but I find these are small enough for her to manage and packed with iron and Omega-3's.  It's also a good predinner snack that should not ruin their appetite since I give such a small amount.  Kind of an appetiser and it gives her something to do in the high chair so I can finish getting dinner altogether.
I personally have always loved those along with the almond or walnuts, I purchase them every where such as in the bulk section if their is a sale on for organic ones.  But yes, mostly, I find them easily at Walmart in a little metal rack section where you can find all kinds of snacks of different proportions.   Like I said, she likes peanut butter on the plain rusks as well and I cut up cheese into bites of any sort of eating cheese we have in the fridge.  I buy a good cheese at the Farmer's Markets, like a Swiss or Gouda and then also always have the Farmer's marble readily available.  A different combination of snacking plate would filled with various types of crackers, oysters, small snacking veggies or grated carrot and avocado, maybe to the side cottage cheese- it depends on how my daughter is feeling. Sometimes she will not eat cottage cheese and now she is growing partial to it and loves it.  None the less, cottage cheese is a great toddler snack in my opinion and paired with some else to make it a heftier snack is always great.

Currently, we are trying some cereal bars by PC brand and also Walmart.  My little one is eating both types, but because I find them quite sugary, I only give half at a time with some water in her cup. This I hope washes the sugar down off her teeth, as well as sustains her need for water.  Generally at about $2-3 per box, they are mostly not that healthy so I would recommend if you can toast and jam before those.  But they are individually wrapped for an easy portable snack.

I include some type of side veggie dish like a small salad of baby  greens, avocado, fresh diced tomatoes and home house dressing., or maybe I put some avocado and grated carrot on the side or a small dish of apple sauce, and sweet pickles on a plate for me.  :)  Hey we all need a snack to keep away from being 'hangry'!  That being said, in the last six months there has been little time for anything else BUT preparing food and meals.  I have neglected the blog posts and have done other things that are better suited for my time but I will make a more dedicated announcement in the near future as to what I have decided to do and how I plan on amalgamating my on line presence in a more streamlined way!

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