I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weaning as it isn’t going to be long before I get to do it with Edith and it is by far one of my favourite baby stages! I just live weaning, seeing their little faces as I feed them something new, a new flavour or texture savoured for the first time. Maybe it’s my own deep seated appreciation for food (my mum is actually a cordon bleu chef).
Anyhow, I digress. Weaning thoughts ping ponging around my head have made me keenly aware of what is in my baby/nappy bag for Toby and Reuben to snack on. I’m not talking about over the weekend when you have a full day out and you pack enough food to deal with a UN food crisis, no, I mean nibbles for those frustrating moments your child announces I’m hungry – right between the school run and swim class or during a quick errand run to the post office (these are the times that Reuben and Toby usually decide to announce their hunger – preferably when there are tonnes of people to hear their woeful pleas and scowl at me because I haven’t provided for my clearly famished kiddos). I thought I’d put together a little list of must have snacks I like to keep in my baby/toddler bag as nibbles for the boys, and soon enough Edie will be tucking into them too. I never leave the house without at least one of these in my bag.
1.) Fruit roll ups of some variety.
These are perfect for kids, especially little ones with sweet teeth (hello Toby). There are hundreds of companies that make them, but our favourites are made by Bear, the boys love the fun designed packets and the little paw shaped fruit slices. If you don’t want to buy fruit roll ups (though I have to say I recommend it purely for the pre-packaged convenience) then you can easily make them, with just pure fruit baked over a long period of time. Try Pinterest for some inspiration.
2.) Bananas and other fruit
I often think this is better for when you know the kids will want something. Many a time have I forgotten to take a banana out of my bag because I’d packed one anticipating a request and there wasn’t one. I usually say these are a must in the bag for after school, longer day trips to run several errands or if someone refused to eat breakfast (ahem, this one is for you again Toby). Raisins are really the only exception to this rule, you can get some perfect little pots too.
Bananas are a really good one to take when you have a newly weaning baby as they are mash-able. Just carry a fork and spoon in your bag with a little empty pot and you can mash it up at any point. Or if you break it into small pieces for baby to hold and suck/gnaw on then that works too.
3.) Breakfast biscuits.
These are officially a parent-snack-pack must have in my eyes. The boys love them, they think they are on to a winner because they are getting a biscuit and it’s not even lunch time and I am delighted because secretly I’m the one that got one over on them because the biscuits are packed full of nutrients and slow-release carbs to help keep them full until dinner. Toby has such a thing for biscuits, so having these around keeps us both happy as I don’t have to spend hours worrying about his sugar intake. You can even get cocoa versions that have chocolate chips in if you want to give them something slightly sweeter. Usually breakfast biscuits can be bought in a box where the biscuits are wrapped in packs of two, three or four – perfect for shoving a packet into your bag and forgetting about it until the request is unleashed on your peaceful errand run.
4.) Dry cereals
These are so easy, and perfect for baby lead weaning with an older baby too. All you need is a little Tupperware box, some shreddies (these are my boys favourite) or other slightly larger cereals that won’t disintegrate to easily, and off you pop.
5.) Baked, child friendly crisps or rice cake crips
I frequently have something of this fashion in my bag. We tend to prefer mini cheddars (the little cheese discs) and steer clear of anything over packed with additives or flavourings. I also try to use this as my last resort but sometimes it’s just the perfect nibble for your child, and you can get some really great ‘crisp’ packet style rice cakes which are great because your child feels like they are chowing down on a pack of crisps but actually they are eating something that is very healthy and full of slow release carbs (in the same way the breakfast biscuits are).
I hope those give you some ideas so that the next time a request is made out of the blue you will be able to breath easy and provide a tasty snack for your child.