The perfect crispy bite sized crackers for little hands! Perfect for crumbling in a bowl of soup, or stacking with some cheese for snacktime!
Need I say more?
Well I probably should because mentioning the world of a 2 year old can mean so many different things. Random household objects scattered in the strangest places of the home. Meltdowns over “broken” bananas. Complete and utter joy over noticing a butterfly…
But today we are going to talk about 2 year olds and eating. Age 2 can be a tough age in the meal world. Some because I think our expectations for what a meal should be at this age are unrealistic. While 2 year olds still need nutrient dense food choices, their appetites do drop off a little at this age. They just plain don’t need as much as what you probably would expect they would – at least not every day. Two year olds will eat like a teenage boy one day and the next have no more than a cup of milk and a banana and be perfectly fine.
Two year olds are also B.U.S.Y. 🙂 Expecting a 2 year old to sit for a full meal to your standards just might not be realistic until they are closer to age 3 or 4 in my experience. So my experience has been smaller, more frequent meals just work better at this busy age.
My goal is always – make every bite count.
If my two year olds are going to eat 5-6 times per day, I’m going to make sure most of those are “mini meals”. Instead of snacking toddlers on empty calories of fishy crackers and the little O’s cereal, you are going to find these little guys will do better eating some friendly fats with a little bit of carbohydrate. Their blood sugars will be more stable making less volatile little people, they will be satiated longer, and their brain and growing bodies will be nourished to grow.
One of my go-to on the go “mini meals” for my 2 year old who has to sit in the car for a loooong time during drop offs for my elementary school kiddo and my preschooler, are these plantain crackers with some sort of fat – sometimes raw cheese or butter, sometimes chunks of avocado, other times some olives. The point is, it is a quick “mini meal” that I can throw in a little cup or bowl that my 2 year old can handle herself while in the car for these taxi driving trips to drop off or pick up her sisters.
A quick handful into my 1st grader’s lunchbox (See my Instagram hashtagging #rgnschoollunches to see how I pack them!), or into a little container with a hard boiled egg for my 4 year old’s preschool snack, and that is as quick as it gets!
I have been working on these plantain crackers for… a while. My problem was always an end result that was soggy or chewy instead of crispy like a cracker. How did I master the cooking method? Go figure…by accident!
One day, my 2 year old was having a particularly “2 year old day” and getting her ready to leave for school pick up took longer than expected. I had some plantain crackers in the oven for a while, and before we left for school pick up I turned off the oven, and just left the crackers in there because I knew they didn’t look “done” yet. When we got home a half hour later, they were perfectly crisp and NOT over cooked! It was like that extra time in the oven with the heat turned off almost dehydrated them the rest of the way. I have been making them this way over the last month to test my theory out and they have come out perfect every time!
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- 3 large plantains (If your plantains are smaller use 4. My plantains have been yellow using this recipe - I think if you use green plantains you will need more moisture somewhere in the recipe - either some water or more plantain.)
- 1 cup potato starch
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp each of onion and garlic powders (Optional)
- Sea salt to sprinkle the top of the crackers
- Everything into your food processor and blend until smooth. You will have to scrape down the sides once or twice.
- Spread the batter onto 2 large jellyroll pans that are lined with Silpat or parchment paper (I have tested both liners and both work). Spread it as thin as you can - this is really important so that they cook even and don't come out soft/chewy. Pay attention to the middle making sure there isn't too much there - push the batter all the way to the edges. It spreads easily with a spatula. Sometimes if my bananas are on the bigger side and I have too much batter I will get a third sheet out - you just want to make the batter on the sheets thin. You can see the thickness in the crackers on my images in this post.
- Bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes and then use a pizza roller or a butter knife to score the sheets into cracker shapes.
- Put the sheets back in the oven and bake another 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees. If you see any browning around the edges move to the next step.
- Turn the oven OFF while keeping the sheets of crackers IN the oven to dehydrate the rest of the way about 20-30 minutes minimum. I have left them in there for an hour or so if I am out and about running errands without any issues or burning because the oven is off.
- Let the crackers cool a few minutes before handling - they crisp up even more after they cool. Store the crackers in an airtight container and eat within 2 weeks.
For more real food snack ideas, you can check out my Snack Ideas board on Pinterest!
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