Little One Feeling Cranky? Pack in the Protein!

When a toddler or young child is feeling cranky, everyone suffers. Whether they’re squabbling with a sibling, antagonizing the baby, or throwing tantrum after tantrum, it can be frustrating not to be able to relax and enjoy their usual good cheer. In an effort to get the frustrating behavior to stop many parents resort to yelling or punishment. While getting on the child’s level and working with them to solve their problems is usually a better solution, there’s one step that comes first that many parents often forget: To check in on whether their child’s basic physical needs are met. Often, just making sure a child is comfortable, full, and feeling safe is enough to help them snap out of a cranky mood and get back to smiling.

If you’ve checked on your kiddo's needs and realized that they’re probably hungry, reaching for the right snack can be essential. Instead of grabbing a carb-heavy snack that will just leave your kiddo feeling hungry again in a few minutes, choose a protein heavy snack to help them feel full and happy for longer. Check out the easy snack ideas below to keep your kid happy and full for longer!

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{ MORE: Preschool Kitchen: 4 Fall Recipes To Make With Your Little Chef }

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich

This lunchtime classic is a kid-friendly favorite for a reason. Not only will a PB&J leave your little one feeling fuller for longer, they’ll also look forward to it as a treat! PB&Js keep well in the fridge, so don’t hesitate to make a few at the beginning of the week and dole them out as needed. If you’re pressed for time, Smucker’s Uncrustables are about as quick as you can get!  

Scrambled eggs

While scrambled eggs aren’t the most portable snack, they certainly hit the spot at home. Scrambled eggs take less than five minutes to make and provide the protein your kiddo need to start the day on the right foot.

Cheese sticks

Even the pickiest eater usually enjoys a cheese stick. Cheese sticks can be pricey at the store but you can cut costs by buying a large block of cheese and slicing it into cheese sticks on your own.

Deli meat roll-ups

Whether your kiddo enjoys turkey, ham, or pepperoni, you can turn this protein-packed snack into a complete meal by adding it to a tortilla and rolling it into an easy-to-eat deli roll-up  

Chicken nuggets

Who says chicken nuggets are just for mealtime? KidFresh Super Duper Chicken Nuggets are as easy to make as they are delicious to eat. Next time your kiddos are cranky and hungry, be their hero by whipping up this meal-time favorite as a snack.

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Apples and peanut butter

If you’ve got a fan of fruit (or a kiddo who really needs to learn to eat more fruit) consider slicing up some apples and adding a serving of peanut butter for dipping. The sweet/savory combination of this snack is sure to leave little tummies full and happy.

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Little One Feeling Cranky? Pack in the Protein!

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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