Welcome today’s guest blogger Rosalie. Rosalie’s new role as a mother sparked her interest in children’s nutrition. She could not find a cookbook or a parenting guide which spoke to her daily frustrations as a working mother of a hungry toddler. Rosalie discovered that many parents, like herself, felt confused about what to feed their children and overburdened by the task of cooking complicated recipes on a daily basis. Rosalie started Veggie Toddler in order to share her ideas about snacking, cooking and simply surviving as a parent in our fast-paced lives. Besides being a mother of two, Rosalie runs a small architecture firm in Atlanta, Georgia and is working on a book about getting toddlers and preschoolers to eat and enjoy vegetables.
Rosalie Recipe: Steamed Sweet Potato Snack
Rosalie Tip: Why wait for dinner? Get kids snacking on steamed vegetables.
I don’t have too much trouble figuring out what to serve my kids for meals. Okay, so I could use some tips, inspiration and new recipes now and then. Who doesn’t? But chances are you won’t find me serving a main course of cookies, chips or granola bars for breakfast, lunch or dinner. One of the biggest problem areas with children’s nutrition occurs between meals: otherwise known as snack time.
Kids need snacks. Their tummies are tiny and young children burn a lot of calories because they are so active. Kids need snacks to provide enough energy to bridge the gap between scheduled meals. So what’s for snack? Crackers? Cookies? Chips? Raisins? Granola bar? When my toddler started running around and demanding snacks, I found myself throwing whatever was most convenient to me in the diaper bag. Then one day I tallied up the portion of crackers to vegetables my toddler consumed throughout the day and was astonished. She was gobbling up endless amounts of crackers all day and then nibbling on her vegetables at meals in her high chair.
I got to thinking. What if I served the vegetables as snacks when my toddler was actually hungry? And so my story of Veggie Toddler began. I brought steamed vegetables out of the kitchen and on to the playground. Vegetables were no longer reserved for scheduled highchair eating but were offered as on the go snack bag options. Sure enough my hungry toddler started demanding steamed carrots and broccoli just as much as she did crackers after a hard morning’s work in the sandbox.
When I wanted to change the way my toddler ate, I started with her snacks. Once she became familiar with steamed veggies as perfectly normal snack bag options, she stopped picking at them during meals and gobbled them up.
That toddler is now 5 ½ years old and she still gets excited when I bring steamed sweet potato to the playground as a snack. Steamed Sweet Potatoes are sweet, not too mushy, satisfying and packed with plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Enjoy!
Steamed Sweet Potato Snack
1 large sweet potato or two small sweet potatoes
Peel skin from potato and rinse with cold water. Slice into round “wheels” about ½” thick. Place in steaming basket with about 1” of water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. (If you do not have a steaming basket, immerse potatoes in water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.) Boil on medium flame for 8-15 minutes, depending on desired consistency and thickness of the slices. Check consistency with fork – fork should slide in potato easily but not so much that it breaks the potato apart. Remove from water and let cool. Once cooled, pack wheels in a container for easy snacking on the go. Sweet Potatoes may be eaten with a fork at the table for meals or with the child’s fingers as a snack on the go.
Find out more today from Rosalie on Veggie Toddler.