Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Afternoon snacks & sample menu for Toddler

I have been asked by my sec-school cum Mommy friend about my sample menus for Kai so I thought maybe I can do a post on afternoon snacks for kids.

Today's menu is:
- Boiled organic apples with almonds
- Korean strawberries

The apples have been sliced and boiled with skin intact. Nothing perculiar, except that I wanted the almond-flavoured apple juice. Otherwise, just freshly diced apples will do just as well.
Normally when parents hear the word "SNACK", biscuits and chips come to mind. I usually serve fruits or cheese/yogurt as snacks. I do not give my child sweets/tidbits, though the occasional break in rule is inevitable, because I do not see the nutritional value and need of tidbits.

My MIL has been "well-trained" by yours truly. She now knows how to look for the right labels when she goes grocery-shopping.

For me, I'm "lazy". I try to prepare one-dish meals as much as possible so it's easier to feed a young child, plus it's packed with all the nutrients and goodies.

My sample menus:
- Organic oats with finely chopped fruits and cheese chunks.
Be sure to buy block cheese instead of cheese slices because the slices are what's leftover from the crafted blocks and further processed, therefore cheese slices will be higher in salt content than say, the same Cheddar cheese in block.
Cheese is good for calcium and a milk substitute especially for toddlers who've moved on to try more solids and drinking lesser milk.

- Wholemeal / Multi-grain / Rye bread with butter and organic jam
I try to buy bread fresh from the baker whenever possible, because those from the baker's are much lower in preservatives than the same type of bread off-the-shelf from supermarts.
Do note that freshly baked bread will have shorter shelf-life than brands like Gardenia or Sunshine, but they are also available in half-loaves. Price is slightly more expensive.

- Soft rice or porridge with greens/yellow underground veg and a fish/ meat/ tofu.
I use Organic brown rice grains and I am careful not to overwash the rice, just lightly rinse with water is enough to preserve as much nutrients as possible.
When the rice or porridge is cooked and ready to serve, I sprinkle a pinch of blended Ikan Billis powder.
** Ikan Billis is high in calcium and iron.
I buy one packet from the Chinese grocer's, soak in water to remove as much brine as possible (used to preserve the ikan billis). After that, I roast them lightly over a dry frying pan to remove moisture so they become crisp.
When they are crisp, I blend in a handheld blender. This may be a tedious process but one batch can last you a long long time if you keep in air-tight containers.

These are the sample menus I shared with my friend and she was very thankful and inspired by the convenience of one-dish meals.
They are also easier to feed because children have shorter attention spans and cannot sit through a long & complicated meal.
Of course, I cannot cover every food item available in such a short post, but in general, I follow the Food Pyramid as my guide, and Everything in moderation.

Finally, I'm only sharing my experience as a mother and as an ex-nurse. The onus is still on the parents to find out what suits their child because different people have different taste buds, even our little ones! What works for my child may not work for yours, vice versa.


  1. hi veron,

    my girl is 19mths old and she is still drinking milk every 2hourly (except lunch n dinner where we gv her porridge). Is this normal? Tried to cut down her milk intake but she keeps asking for it.

  2. Hi Bagi-mommy,, yes it is normal for some Tods to still demand a milk feed every 2 hours. Adam is like that as well. As long as her average milk intake is btwn 600-900ml per day in total should be fine, but do take note it's just a guide n diff children have different physiological needs.
    Some eat/drink more, some less. Some prefer small frequent meals, some take bigger meals spaced longer apart. It's their individuality & as long as she's hitting her growth chart percentiles nicely u don't hv to worry :)

  3. arh i see, thanks so much. i was pretty worried cos she just started school and the teachers are saying just twice a day of milk intake is sufficient. btw ur kid coped well going to school? my gal is still crying after 2weeks and she is the only 1 crying, the other kids are all coping well. MIL is stressing that I should not let her go to school at such a young age... :(

  4. Hi Bagi-mom, yeah Adam coped v well on school & till today he loves going to school v much though I noticed some of his classmates were clingy n weepy ... I guess all kids cope differently to separation from parents. Some are more outgoing some are introverts. It has largely to do with their personalities.

    If u r unduly worried maybe u can request to sit in her class for a week then gradually reduce yr time spent there. I wrote an article on helping kids cope with preschool but I can't do a search now on my iPhone.

  5. Wokie dokie I found it using quick search :)


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