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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I would love to know what snacks others leave out for their 2-3 year old little ones so they can graze at will. Any suggestions? We want to encourage some more eating independence!</p>
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<p>does the dog food bowl count?</p>
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<p>ugh, i kid but i would love to have a snack tray out for her but as much as she dips in the dogs bowl, the dog also dips into her stuff...</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>Huh! I would have expected there to be lots of great ideas on here. We don't have the dog issue - no pets in our house.</p>
<p>Here are some things we're thinking about:</p>
<p>Taking the latch off one of the bottom cabinets in our kitchen and making it his storage area, or getting a little cabinet.</p>
<p>Applesauce in the little containers - he might need help opening it, but could probably learn.</p>
<p>Crackers and peanut butter - he surprised us the other day by opening the twist lid and using his little knife to spread nut butter on his own crackers while we were busy doing other things in the kitchen! I think he's ready for this one.</p>
<p>Raisins or currants</p>
<p>Cereal to snack on such as bran flakes, puffed wheat, or cheerios</p>
<p>Bananas or maybe other fruit - not sure what would be okay</p>
<p>Muffins - his favorite are cornbread right now.</p>
 

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<p>Why don't you post in food forums? I would make suggestions but we eat a traditional food diet mainly with not a lot of grains so it may not be what you're looking for.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<p>Hey Mom61508 - I will also post there, but I'd love to know what other foods you would recommend! I think we eat way too many grains and would like to branch out to other (healthier) options. What would you suggest?</p>
 

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<p>I have wanted to keep snacks in DS's reach for a long time now but I can't really think of things he can eat that won't go bad without refrigeration and don't need to be cut open (i.e. avocados). We are vegan & low-grain. I did try giving him a fruit bowl with I think clementines, apples, and bananas on his little table but he just took one bite from each apple, tried to bite through the clementine skin, and dumped the rest on the floor... It would work better if I could store everything in a cabinet in his reach but I think bananas & apples would go bad in a cabinet...</p>
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<p>Will your DS eat nuts? Shelled almonds, cashews, etc. could work.</p>
 

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<p>My LO is a year younger than yours but we do a version of this now. Instead of a cabinet of multiple options, I put whatever is the next snack item, already prepped, into a container and leave it on her little table. A new item goes over to the table as soon as the previous one is finished or brought to me as a reject. DD goes over to check out her snack options frequently and is pretty good about staying at her table with messy choices. We leave a damp washcloth in a bowl for her so she can wipe her hands when she has finished though this step takes reminding.</p>
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<p>We specifically leave DD's food out where she can see it so she has the visual reminder to eat. It was a suggestion from her nutritionist to up her caloric intake and it works. If you want your LO to be hungry at specific mealtimes you may want to make food available differently from how we do.</p>
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<p>So far, we've had pretty good success with peas, corn, bananas with peel, whole apples, clementine segments, applesauce, dishes of peanut butter, melon cubes, halved grapes, diced chicken on the rare occasions she wants to eat it, cubes of hard boiled egg, and bacon. DD is dairy intolerant (if she wasn't, I would also try cubed cheese) and I try to make whole food/non-grain choices for her. Alas, I am nowhere near as good about my own eating habits...</p>
 

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<p>Our DD is just about to turn two, but we do something similar to what <strong>CassnBeth</strong> do.  DD has a small "snack" table where I put things for her.  Her water glass, her mug of tea, a bowl of cut up whatever.  Some of usual fare includes cucumber, grapes, cheese, cooked yams/beets/carrots, peas, edamame (a particular favourite).  I also put whole fruit and veg there; apples, pears, peppers, baby zucchini.  We often use a 6 muffin tin, and put something different in each cup.  We're prepared for some waste, but we like giving her options in terms of colour, flavour and texture.  She is total foodie, and so far there is nothing that she won't eat.  Right now on the table is a mug of tea, and the muffin tin.  It had a dill pickle, a piece of rice bread with almond butter, an apple, dried cereal, yams and edamame.  Only the cereal is left!  I put boring cereal in there, so as not to encourage all-cereal-all-the-time.  </p>
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<p>ETA:  I'm going to do the damp cloth in a bowl thing, <strong>CassnBeth</strong> ... thanks for the idea!  Gotta love MDC.</p>
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<p>do a search here for monkey trays. i remember reading a while ago about all of the different snack options people use for them. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>olien</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288502/diy-snacks-for-2-5-yr-old#post_16155402"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>do a search here for monkey trays. i remember reading a while ago about all of the different snack options people use for them. </p>
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<br><br><p>I'm so glad you mentioned this.  I did a search and got this link out of it with such cool ideas!</p>
<p><a href="http://sandradodd.com/eating/monkeyplatter" target="_blank">http://sandradodd.com/eating/monkeyplatter</a></p>
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<p>I really love this quote from that page...</p>
<p><strong>The glorious part of a monkey platter should be that it was just created lovingly for that child at that moment (or for a group at that moment), not that mom cut some stuff up yesterday and left it in the fridge. It should be fresh, surprising, arranged artistically, delivered with affection.</strong></p>
 

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<p>my LO is a delayed 20m old. I give her chunks of bananas and gluten free crackers (look like ritz). I will also give her some rice chex in a plastic cup. Why I try I don't know because nothing stays in a bowl or cup with her. The banana gets gross enough so I don't want anything too disasterous.</p>
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<p>My vacuum cleaning dog does get fenced out of the living room. I do have a cat who will steal her crackers and another cat who steals her bananas. Apparently my cats are a little wacked in the head. They flip over baby rice cereal. :/</p>
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<p>That's interesting about the nutritionist. My EI teacher says don't allow grazing as it will make for bad habits and make you fat. but.. she's TINY and has also decided she doesn't need to eat any more. So I'd rather her graze than not eat at all!</p>
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<p>I am also getting real tired of food being chucked at me when i give her ONE too many pieces. When she's done.. you'll know! lol Took a banana to the shin today...</p>
 

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<p><br>
Yeah I think I am going to try this too.  My DD is pretty tiny and doesn't like to eat that much.  I already leave out a bowl of food for her, but it's usually not finger foods.  But I made meatloaf!  I could put that out for her with some oranges.  I really like that monkey tray idea - it looks like something she might enjoy.  Or something that she might leave scattered on the floor.  LOL.</p>
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<p>I do have a small basin I leave on the floor in the kitchen and often she will bring her dishes to it when she is done, so that helps cut down on some of the mess while still supporting autonomy.,.</p>
 

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<p>Since my son can open the fridge, I leave some snacks on the reachable shelf for him. </p>
 

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<p>We have bunny crackers, frozen peas (she likes them still frozen), snap peas (yeah she's really into peas), raisins, "animal" crackers (tortilla shells cut up with a cookie cutter and baked), sausage, baby carrots</p>
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<p>We used to have cheese and bananas but if she doesn't eat those right away they go a little yucky and she doesn't like the texture after they've been out for a little while.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<p>Wow - great ideas! We have a napkin drawer with cloth napkins/wipes that my son uses, but I like the damp napkin in a bowl idea. I also love the idea about having a bin for dirty dishes. The Monkey tray and muffin tin sound like cool ideas, though I think my little one would only eat the favorite item! You never know. I think I'm going to have to make some baked tortilla animal crackers - what a good idea! Do you put any seasoning on them? Thanks!</p>
 
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