Healthy Snacks For Your Toddler
Toddlers are bundles of energy requiring all the necessary nutrients in their food. They need calcium rich foods 1000-1200 calories a day. They also require healthy snacks to supplement their energy requirements all through the day. Mid-morning, mid-afternoon and after-dinner snacks keep them going. So what are the healthy snacks for your toddler?
The rule of thumb to follow would be 1 tablespoon of food for each year of your child’s age. It is important to remember that the snacks offered should be healthy and nutritious. While doing so remember a few important tips when coming up with snack ideas for toddlers.
-Choking hazard: make sure the foods given are not a choking hazard and the parent is always around to supervise.
-Food allergy: Some of the kids are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, shell fish, soy, wheat and eggs.
-Food intolerance: This is found in some kids. Example: lactose intolerance in kids.
There are several healthy snacks that could be offered to toddlers bearing in mind they are healthy and kid friendly. Here are a few toddler snack ideas that you could remember when you are scrambling around attending to the little one's cries of 'I am hungry'.
1. Fruits: Keep ready-to-eat fruits like grapes, oranges, strawberries, watermelon and vegetables like raw carrots, cucumbers in the refrigerator in the front and tell your toddlers to look in the fridge when they are hungry. It is wisely said healthy snacks must be visible.
2. Dips: Kids are very fond of dipping their food so why not take advantage of it. Offer them fruits that they can dip into French vanilla yogurt. Another dip idea is velvety vanilla yogurt dip with fruit.
3. Roll-Ups: Growing toddlers do not like to sit at one place for eating. So, it is a nice idea to make roll-ups for them. Try to fill something healthy fillings like roasted turkey, chicken and a mixture of vegetables. Use peanut butter or light cream cheese instead of mayonnaise.
4. Store-bought snacks: Not all store-bought items are unhealthy. Try Smith’s lower-fat round cheeses like Baby Bel or small yogurt cups. Small cup of lentil soup, baked chips, salsa or bean dips are equally wonderful and healthy.
5. Salads: Kids love raw veggies like broccoli, celery and carrots with low-fat dip or dressing
6. Dried fruits: Keep dried fruits like almonds, cashews, raisins and prunes on your kitchen table. Keep an eye on your children because raisins specifically are considered sticky and can increase cavities’ risk in kids after eating.
7. Smoothies & Shakes: Instead of giving toddlers ice creams full of fat, offer them smoothies, made of low-fat yogurt, fruit and ice. You can also mix chocolate into a glass of milk. Kids love banana, mango and apple shakes.
8. Canned fruit: Canned fruit in water or fruit cups are hundreds times better than soft drinks or even sugary fruit juices. Popsicles made with 100% fruit juice is also another good idea. Give low-fat or fat-free milk and encourage your toddler to drink as much water as he can.
9. Other Snacks: Crackers, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, popcorn without butter, baked chips or pretzels are other healthy snacks that can also be given to toddlers.
So when you go shopping for grocery remember to make a list and stock up your pantry and fridge with all these goodies so that you are prepared when the toddlers ask for a snack. Avoid junk food of any kind and go for the healthy, simple home snack ideas for toddlers.
Image credit: Parents.com