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Healthy snacks for toddlers

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Healthy toddler snacking
Toddlers are busy little people! Always on the move - climbing, running, exploring - they are just learning how to do so many things and often they don’t want to sit still to eat. If you’ve ever dealt with a hungry and consequently cranky toddler, you know it’s important to make time for healthy snacks! Looking for some healthy snacking guidelines?  Northpoint Pediatrics located in Indianapolis and Noblesville has some great tips for you.

Healthy food choices

When it comes to good nutrition, one of your jobs as the parent is to provide a well-rounded selection of healthy food choices. At meals you should be consciously making sure that each food group is represented. Your child’s job? To eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full - and they are remarkably good at that. We often hear from parents who are concerned that their toddler isn’t eating enough. It’s important to remember that toddlers have smaller tummies and need smaller portions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for measuring child-sized portions:
  • Serve one-fourth to one-third of the adult portion size, or 1 measuring tablespoon of each food for each year of your child's age.
  • Give less than you think your child will eat. Let your child ask for more if she is still hungry.
Bottom line: If your child is growing well, they are getting enough to eat.

Healthy Kid Snack IdeasToddlers & snacks go
hand-in-hand

Chances are, your toddler isn’t always finishing that well-rounded plate you provide at each meal. Snacks help balance out the somewhat uneven eating patterns of toddlers and also help them keep their tummies full so you aren’t dealing with a hungry, cranky child when you’re trying to make dinner. (Well, some days you will be...but snacks really can help!)

Toddlers should be feeding themselves so think of snacks that can help them continue to develop these fine motor skills. Offer simple, finger-friendly, bite-size foods and offer them in small portions - typically ¼ of a cup is a good sized snack for a toddler. Time the snacks to help even out mealtimes - mid-morning and mid-afternoon works well with most toddlers.

Healthy snack ideas

Snacks are a great way to make sure your child is getting good nutrients and vitamins throughout the day - but only if you pick the right kinds of snacks. There are a lot of choices on the shelves that aren’t the healthiest options. Spend some time reading labels. And consider the entire day’s meals when you choose a snack so you’re balancing food groups.
Healthy Snack ideas from American Academy of Pediatrics
Looking for some healthy snack ideas? Check out this great list on the Healthy Children website.

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