Toddler Articles

Healthy Snacking Throughout The Day

 

Adults usually view snacks as something bad and something to avoid. However, children require frequent eating and snacking to meet their nutritional needs because their little bellies don't allow them to take in all the nutrition they need during three meals.  For children, snacks are as important as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

To avoid "spoiling" dinner for your little toddler, carefully plan their snacking.  Think of snacks as part of a meal and monitor the nutrition they receive during that snack as if it were part of a meal.  For example, if your child eats mangos and crackers for a snack, they've gotten at least one serving of grains and fruits.  It may not be as critical for them to get foods from these groups during lunch or dinner.  To make it even easier, provide snacks with food you were planning on serving at the next meal.

 

Visit the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion to view toddlers' needs as outlined by the Food Pyramid. Earth's Best and Sesame Street have also teamed up to develop nutritionally rich snacks that kids will choose on their own.

 

Here are some snack suggestions you can serve and feel good about

 

  • Earth's Best Kidz Whole Grain Bars
  • Cereal with fruit and milk
  • Earth's Best Sesame Street Elmo Mac 'n Cheese with Carrots and Broccoli (or use an organic, whole-wheat boxed variety)
  • Apple and banana slices spread with peanut butter
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Yogurt mixed with fresh fruit
  • Peanut butter on graham crackers
  • Soft cooked veggie finger foods, like carrot sticks or sweet potato sticks, or raw veggies for older snackers, served with a child friendly dip, such as peanut butter mixed with yogurt, or low fat ranch dip.
  • Earth's Best Kidz Applesauce
  • Leftovers from dinner the night before, such as cold chicken and pasta Homemade whole-grain muffins containing fruit or veggies, such as carrot, blueberry or zucchini
  • Low-fat cheese with whole-grain crackers, served with fruits and/or veggies.
  • Fruit smoothies made with yogurt, bananas, orange juice (or other favorite combos)
  • Veggie burger cut into finger friendly sizes
  • For beverages at snack time, serve milk, 100-percent juice or water. Avoid sports drinks or sodas that provide calories but little else.Allow your toddler to participate in the snack planning process. Pick two healthy snacks and give them a choice of which snack they prefer.