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Healthy Snack Recipes Toddlers Love

You don't have to make your little one's snacks super sweet for him to love them.

Healthy Snack Recipes Toddlers Love

Kids love to try and eat what we eat -- especially if it's forbidden foods (ahem, chocolate). But they also like to to try the healthier, more nutritious kind... That is, as long as we, mamas and papas, eat them too! What's more, "children are more likely to eat healthy foods if their family eats at least three meals together each week," according to the March 2017 Parents magazine issue.

So be a role model: eat with them at the dinner table, don't skip meals and eat nutritious foods. And when it comes to snack, you can rewrite the kids' menu and pack a bunch of healthy ingredients into baked goods. So if you want to experiment with less sugary foods that the whole family can enjoy, check out the the three toddler-friendly recipes below. They offer a boatful of nutrition without compromising taste. A sure hit among your little ones (and big ones, too!).

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1. Almond Meal Muffins. Baking with almond meal is a more nutritious alternative to using wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Almond meal is higher in protein and contains Vitamin E, an important antioxidant especially during those germ-inducing months! These muffins are great for breakfast or snack and are easy to pack for on-the-go. Check out the recipe here.

2. Banana Oat Flour Muffins. Oat flour is basically oats ground into a powder form. It’s an excellent wheat-free alternative and a more nutritious option too. These muffins will fill you up because of the dietary fiber found in oats. Spread a little nut butter on top and serve them for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. If your household is gluten-free, you can purchase gluten-free oats, and Bob’s Red Mill offers both options. You can find the recipe here.

3. Almond Butter Thumbprint Cookies. Almond butter is a healthy nut butter spread, and if you are able to make it yourself, you can tone down the salt and sugar content. It's a good source of protein and healthy fat -- both essential for busy parents and growing toddlers. This recipe is a better snack option to many packaged and processed foods, and once you make a batch of almond butter, you can use it for so many different recipes. Check it out here.

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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