It seems like toddlers are always hungry. I think that this is partly because they are always on the go, go, go! Toddlers need to refuel often. Three meals a day just is not enough. Snack come into play between meals when your toddler is hungry. Snacks are much smaller than meals.
When many people think of giving children snacks they think of candy and potato chips. Those are snacks, yes, but not healthy and not recommended ones. I recommend giving snacks that are healthy. Snack that contain vitamins and minerals. Snacks that are of foods that need to be ingested daily anyway. Snack time is a great time to sneak in an extra serving from one of the daily food groups, or two.
How many snacks should be given per day? Three to four. Usually one, or two spaced out morning snacks and two separate afternoon snacks, depending on what time dinner is. If your child has four snacks per day then you have four opportunities to supply them with the healthy foods that their body needs.
There are so very many healthy foods to choose from for snacks! Dried fruits, fresh fruits, canned fruits all are great snack ideas and supply a couple of extra servings from the fruit group that may be missed by meals alone.
Vegetables can also be used for snacks, and are needed each day and not fully supplied by meals alone. Carrot or celery sticks go great with some peanut butter, which is a protein serving too! Kids also love to dip broccoli and cauliflower that is fresh in dip! Very healthy indeed!
Nuts are also great snack options. They are also filled with protein, something your child’s body needs each day. There are several varieties types of nuts that come in several different varieties from roasted to honey. Kids love them but be careful, nuts may cause a choking threat to those under three. Supervise you children during snack time to prevent choking.
There are many snacks that are from the grains food group to. Crackers, dry cereal and bagels are all healthy snack choices from the grains group.
There are many dairy snacks that can be served as well. Cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese w/ pineapple or fruit are all great dairy choices. A serving of dairy can be added to any snack time by simply adding a glass of milk! Same goes for juice which can be added to any snack time for an added fruit serving!
Well, there you have it. Snack time made healthy! Feeding children healthy foods allows their bodies to grow and develop the way they are supposed to. Not feeding your children healthy foods causes disease, conditions, lack of growth and development, and malnutrition. Be smart when giving your kids snacks! Keep them healthy to keep your kids healthy!