Toddlers love snacks and that’s a fact! I need to up my creativity of choices because I find I’m serving Sawyer the same things over and over. As an infant Sawyer ate almost anything I put in front of her but, as is normal in toddlerhood, she’s becoming more selective. While I appreciate having an arsenal of go-to snacks I know she’ll eat and require little preparation on my part (think string cheese, fruit, fruit bars, hard-boiled eggs, crackers, cereal, etc), I think it’s so important to slow down sometimes and to teach early on that food should be fresh, fragrant, colorful, and visually enticing. For babies and toddlers this means mimicking what eating looks like and starting to understand the process of where food comes from and how it is prepared. Striking the balance between convenience and slow food is hard for modern-day families but is an essential part of developing balanced eating habits.
These monster toasts are a great way of introducing a new ingredient or two with things that the child might already like and can involve toddlers and children in the process of preparing their own food. Plus, one of my favorite ways to celebrate holidays is with festive food so these are perfect for Halloween!
What You’ll Need:
- Whole Grain bread, toasted will hold up better to lots of toppings
- Something to spread – mashed avocado, nut butter, sun butter, cream cheese, mascarpone, hummus, etc
- Toppings – an assortment of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cheeses, meats, and whole grain snacks (see ideas below)
+Eyeballs – banana slices, berries, hard boiled egg slices, olives, chocolate chips, raisins/dried fruit, round vegetable slices like radish or cucumber
+Hair – berries, sprouts, corn chips, sliced cheese, shaved or grated veggies like carrots, shredded wheat cereal, chia seeds, chives
+Teeth – pine nuts, slivered almonds, pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), sliced jicama, squares of mozzarella cheese
+Mouth, ears, or other features – berries, cut fruit and vegetables (like kiwi, mango, apple, oranges; bell peppers, greens, sprouts), sprigs of herbs, pretzels, peas, edamame, cheese, low sodium deli meats, smoked salmon
How to Make:
- Slather toast with your spread(s) of choice
- Get imaginative with toppings to create cute or creepy monster faces
Halloween is all about the candy (hello mini 3 Musketeers and Snickers!). While it’s part of the tradition to indulge a bit on your favorite sugary treats (I do, and will let Sawyer do the same if she wants), I think it’s also worthwhile to find some healthier options for the meals and snacks leading up to the trick-or-treating. Here’s a few healthy and festive snack ideas I look forward to trying for our family.
Jack O’Lantern Orange – I’ll fill these with fruit and whole milk yogurt. Thinking a good time to try this is after carving a pumpkin with Sawyer.
Rice Ball Jack O’Lanterns – Stuff a bit of cheese or chicken inside for a yummy surprise.
Halloween Sweet Potato Fries – Omit the sugar the recipe calls for (doesn’t need it) but is otherwise a good way to introduce aromatic spices.
Haunted House Hummus Sandwiches – two ingredients!
Spooky Spiders – nut butter energy balls.
Pumpkin Patch Dippers – Sawyer is all about dipping things, so this is perfect.
Lastly, I wanted to share this fabulous resource that our local zoo put together –> Candy With A Cause. This is a list of candy companies that are committed to using certified sustainable palm oil, which helps to protect orangutans, tigers, gorillas, and other animals whose habitats are threatened by the production of non-sustainable palm oil.
If you make monster toast with your family, please tag me @shellymadeblog or #shellymadeblog on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with and for you to share with me about your favorite Halloween treats!