Cold weather is on the way, which means curling up on the couch more often for holiday movie nights with the family. Warm jammies, snuggles, and of course tasty snacks all help make the perfect at-home movie experience.
Parents are always on the lookout for healthy snack options that their kids will enjoy, especially during holiday seasons where sugar is already everywhere. With more movie nights being planned in the winter months, you might be wondering if popcorn is a safe snack for your toddler to enjoy with you.
Answer: Popcorn is Healthy, But Not Always Safe
While popcorn is a relatively healthy snack for children and adults alike, it’s not recommended for kids under four years old. That’s because the sharp edges and hard seeds can cause choking and gagging, even for children who are experienced eaters.
For kids four years old and up, it’s still important to supervise snack time and encourage meals to be eaten while sitting still to lessen choking hazards. Even older kids can experience discomfort or cause an injury to themself by walking, jumping, or playing while eating.
If your family loves popcorn and you don’t want your littlest eaters to feel left out, try crumbling up rice cakes or puffed cereal into bite-size pieces in a bowl for them. If you’re making your popcorn at home, you can even add a little butter and salt to their bowl to help them feel like they have the same thing as the rest of the family.
For younger toddlers, try opting for safe finger foods like puffs, cereal, or yogurt melts. Babies who are new to solid food should always be supervised while eating, so movie night might not be the time to try out new snacks for them.
Other Healthy Movie Night Snacks
Of course, you can always switch it up and skip the popcorn altogether during your next holiday movie night! As long as your family won’t accuse you of being the movie night Grinch, try these other healthy snacks the next time you get the movie munchies.
1. Fruit Slices with Dip
Plain fruit might not seem like an exciting snack but adding a fun dip can turn it into a special movie night treat. Some simple, kid-friendly options are apple slices with caramel, bananas in chocolate sauce, or strawberries in cream cheese dip.
2. Veggie Straws or Puffs
With so many parents seeking healthier snack options, there are all kinds of veggie straws and puffs that will safely satisfy salty snack attacks for the whole family. Mix it up with a few different flavors or types, such as ranch flavored veggie straws or peanut puffs.
3. Sip Your Snacks
If you’re worried about choking hazards or crumbs on the couch, why not institute movie night smoothies? Grab some cups with lids and washable straws and whip up a peanut butter banana or strawberries and cream smoothie to share with the whole family.
With so many snack ideas to choose from, we think you’ll be able to enjoy all the best elements of family movie nights this chilly season. Just remember to skip the popcorn for kids under four, and supervise kids any time they’re trying a new food. Happy snacking!