Sunday, April 7, 2013

Scratch-made Toddler Snacks

This week, I made it a goal to try out a few scratch snack recipes for Lincoln. I thought I would share my results/recipes with you in case you ever felt the urge to do such a thing for your kidlets! I made whole wheat cheddar crackers, homemade graham cracker cookies, and dehydrated mango and banana slices.
Lincoln loves being the Guinea Pig for scratch-made toddler snacks. :)
  Scratch-made Toddler Snack #1: Whole-wheat cheddar crackers

Homemade whole-wheat cheddar crackers
I got the recipe for these crackers from weelicious.com (*Side note: LOVED these recipes for roasted chicken, and this one for whole-wheat crepes stuffed with honey cream cheese and bananas from the same site.*) I used sharp cheddar cheese. And I seasoned the cracker dough with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and some Rosemary. I only cooked the crackers for 12 1/2 minutes, and did them a bit thicker than the recommended 1/4 inch, so they were more like cracker cookies. They were so yummy and savory. They definitely taste best fresh the first day. I would recommend dividing the dough up in thirds or halves, and refrigerating the dough you don't use to cook up from a few days later so you can enjoy the crackers fresh. These would also make really yummy homemade croutons in a mixed veggie salad. I will definitely be using these for that purpose in the future. Great recipe for crackers with no added salt. And, Lincoln (and Squire!) really enjoyed them. Lincoln also enjoyed stamping out the crackers from the dough with me. Activity and treat in one - score!

Scratch-made Toddler Snack #2: Homemade Graham Crackers

Homemade Graham Crackers
 Yum! The recipe for these also came from weelicious.com. I'm kind of really lovin' that site these days. Squire said these tasted like Teddy Grahams, but even better. Lincoln's sneaking into the kitchen to grab the crackers off the baking sheet told me he was in favor of this recipe, too. We dipped them in milk, and snacked on them today during our church's General conference. A smidgin or two of Nutella might have been involved with my crackers. :) These were a great little recipe, and very easy to make. The fact that you can freeze the dough to cook later makes them very appealing to me. (Less work, but more scratch food - yes, please!) I think in the future when I make these, I will cook them a few minutes shy of the recommended 15 minutes so that they have a bit more chew than crunch, and I will also make sure to use unsalted butter instead of salted as that was what I had on hand. But, even still - this recipe is a win.

Scratch-made Toddler Snack #3: Dehydrated Fruit - Mangoes and Bananas

Dehydrated mango and banana slices

I got a little bit of cash from my parents for my birthday and I decided to put it toward the purchase of my very own dehydrator! :) Today I put it to good use and made some Banana chew chips, and dehydrated mango slices. I cooked the fruit in the dehydrator at 140*F in for 2 hours, and then dropped the temp down to 135*F for about 5 more hours. I didn't treat the mango at all, and the flavor came out great - better than fresh even. The bananas I treated in two different ways. I dipped some of the bananas in lemon juice before dehydrating. I dipped some of the bananas in solution of 1/4 cup honey, 1/8 cup, and some cinnamon. Pictured above are the bananas dipped in lemon juice. The bananas dipped in the honey solution took several hours longer to dry (about 10 hours total), and were more brown. And while they were yummy, in the future, I think I will keep it simple and forget the added sugar of honey and just stick with the lemon juice treatment. The light tang of the lemon makes a very nice contrast to the sweet banana flavor which comes out more distinctly in dehydrated bananas. Lincoln loved the "mangoes snacks" and "nanas" and gobbled them up - after he shared a bite or two with his caterpillar, of course. :)

Sharing his snacks with his caterpillar.
Next toddler snacks on my list-to-try are: dehydrated apples, pineapples, apricots, sweet peppers, peas, blueberries, and homemade fruit leather!

Have you found any great toddler snack recipes? If so, please - do share! :)

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