Today on the blog, we have a guest post by the newest and youngest member of The Paleo Parents Team, Sam of paleositter.com. We were so lucky Courtney was willing to share Sam, who she met at CrossFit earlier last year. Courtney raved about Sam being a great babysitter, and she was right! From the moment Sam texted Stacy and asked if she should bring her own (paleo) food or if there was enough in the house for her to cook for the children, we knew it was going to work out! When Stacy & Matt got home to find a clean kitchen as well as a house full of well-fed and happy boys we wondered how we could convince Sam to hang around more often. When she started PaleoSitter.com the opportunity for Sam to learn more about cooking, blogging, book writing and more came up and we’re thrilled to have her as our Local Assistant interning to learn more about how to turn your passion into a business!
So often we get the question, “If I can’t feed my paleo toddler Cheerios or rice puffs, what on earth can I feed them for a snack?” Who better to answer this question than a Paleo Baby Sitter? Sam has put together an awesome round-up with 20 ideas for how to feed a paleo toddler. Take it away Sam!
Hi guys! PaleoSitter here! Or my legal name Samantha. I have received questions on my blog about what I give the toddlers I babysit as snacks. These are things that have worked for me. I view toddlers as being 1-3 years old, but many of these things work for older kids as well.
NOTE: Not all kids I babysit eat paleo.
1. Apple squeezes, they have apple sauce and apple juice in a pouch. I personally love these!
2. Grapes! If you are concerned about these being a choking hazard, just cut the grapes in half.
3. Eggs, hard-boiled eggs are an easy on the go snack. You can add sesame seed eyes and a carrot nose to turn them into fun chicks! Check out this post from Nom Nom Paleo for the perfect boiled egg.
4. Lara Bars, I have found the blueberry muffin is popular, or my recipe for Sam Bars. Need an inexpensive nut-free version? Try Toasted (Not) PB & J Katybars. Paleo Parents also have recipes for Nut Free Blueberry Muffin LaraBar Wannabes, Mango Snack Balls, and Banana Bread Balls (vegan, paleo and AIP friendly!)
5. Fruit Kabobs: put different chunks of fruit on a Popsicle stick (no sharp points!), perfect for on the go.
6. Pudding! What kiddo doesn’t like pudding? I will be uploading a paleo friendly chocolate pudding recipe soon, but in the mean time, The Paleo Parents have a great recipe for Cinnamon Raisin (not) Rice Pudding by their oldest son, Cole!
7. Avocados, remember once you cut them, put a little lime/lemon juice on them to prevent them from turning brown.
8. Pure Wraps, for sandwich replacement we use these. You can put almond butter with bananas, lunch meats, chicken salad with paleo mayo or whatever you like! They’re not terrific by themselves, but delicious when filled with things.
10. Fruit with almond butter. These pouches work very well for car rides. They also come with different flavors, the honey and maple syrup flavors are my personal favorites.
12. Blueberry muffins, I use this recipe. It has the consistency of a normal muffin. I add double the amount of blueberries.
13. Pork rinds. (Probably a bit controversial but my family loves them.) US Wellness Meats has great quality pork rinds that are made from pastured pork and fried in their own lard! Their seasonings also don’t have any yucky stuff (chemicals, sugar, MSG) – yay!
14. Paleo Girl Scout cookies. I found multiple AMAZING recipes. Tagalongs, Samoas, and Thin Mints. (Elana Amsterdam from Elana’s Pantry is the bomb! She wrote the forward to Eat Like a Dinosaur for Matt and Stacy!)
On Thursday, we asked our Facebook followers for their favorite things to feed paleo toddlers, and we got some great responses! Our last six suggestions come straight from those paleo mommies who answered:
15. TONS of you suggested OLIVES! We agree – Olives are packed with healthy fats, and great for little ones to practice their “pincer” skills. Just like grapes, you can cut these in half too! The best part about olives is that they are easily portable and mess free! Just make sure you get ones that are pitted, of course!
16. Tricia H. had a WONDERFUL suggestion: She buys these “Little Green Pouches” (which, by the way, are reusable, dishwasher/freezer safe AND BPA, PVC, and phythalate free!) – she makes her own blends of cooked veggies and fruits. Tricia says, ” I make 8 pouches at a time and freeze a few. His favorite is a sweet potato, apple, carrot with cinnamon!” GREAT idea Tricia! Thanks for sharing this adorable picture of your son!
17. Pretty in Paleo commented and said, “Mine loves a mixture of Cashews, Raisins, Unsweetened Coconut Flakes and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips” – we love this idea too, and in fact we have an area in our pantry that has the different ingredients for paleo trail mix in jars where they can reach them so they can make their own mixes for themselves! (see more about Our Paleo Pantry here)
18. SUPERFOOD ideas: Canned wild caught Sardines, salmon, and tuna. While it may seem weird to you to feed a toddler a can of sardines, don’t let your preconceptions about these foods transfer to your little ones! Lots of our Facebook followers commented that their toddlers love sardines, and even The Paleo Mom has said many times before how her youngest daughter loves them! They are incredibly nutrient dense, and just what little ones need to grow strong. If you are worried about them choking on the bones, you can always buy them boneless and skinless. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! Your toddler may surprise you. Toddlers and babies are also known to LOVE liver, and a great easy option is US Wellness Meats liverwurst. It’s soft and delicious, and incredibly nutrient dense.
19. Gelatin Snacks – lots of you suggested this one, and we TOTALLY agree! We love gelatin snacks – so much so that we did a MEGA round up with 60+ recipes using grassfed gelatin.
20. Last but not least, lots of you suggested organic fruit leathers! Danielle, from Against All Grain has a great recipe for Homemade Fruit by the Foot that her own toddler, Asher, just loves! Isn’t he adorable?
We hope these 20 ideas help with your toddler, and we are so glad that you got to meet our PaleoSitter, Sam. We are looking forward to working with her on the weekends as she interns for us, and also mentoring her in her blogging skills. Do you have any more great suggestions for Paleo Toddler Snacks? Leave a comment and let us know!
All about Sam:
Hello! I am Sam. I am the newest and youngest member of the Paleo Parents team. Before eating paleo, I had skin allergies, acid reflux, acne, frequent bronchitis, and I was overweight. My Stepmom and I are avid CrossFitters, and both hit a plateau with weight loss. When our family decided to switch to paleo, it changed our lives. We have collectively lost 99 pounds. Not only did I lose weight, all of my medical issues disappeared.
I am a full time college student, a government contractor, and trying to become an avid blogger. I love to cook and bake. Oh, yeah, and eat. I have been cooking ever since I can remember. What really encouraged me to cook more, was when my Dad sent me to a cooking boot camp. I have transformed my cooking to paleo, with an abundance of trial and error. I am very excited to be working with Paleo Parents and their team!