Young children require lots of energy to help them grow and develop into happy, healthy humans. Snacking is a great way to ensure that your child’s young, growing body meets their energy requirements every day.
Coming up with new, yummy AND healthy snack ideas for your child each day can seem difficult – but it doesn’t have to be.
• Stay safe – Letting your child snack while they’re lying down, crawling around or walking can be a choking hazard. Avoid this by only offering food when your toddler is sitting upright and always double-check the ingredients to ensure its safe for your toddler to eat.
• Treat snack time like mealtime – Try to serve snacks up to the table. Not only is this safer, but it will also make it easier to reinforce your teachings about table manners and lead to fewer crumbs around your house. If you’re out and about during snack time, it’s perfectly fine to give your child a snack in the stroller or car seat.
• Schedule meal times – Plan your snacks for a specific time of day and avoid letting your toddler graze in-between. Allowing your child to snack the whole day can lead to tooth decay and keep them from developing appropriate appetite regulation.
• Serve the rainbow – When you serve foods that are naturally vibrant in colour, it’s a great indication that they’re packed with nutrients that your child needs. To ensure your toddler is eating an adequate amount of nutritious food, make their meals as colourful as possible.
It’s easy to get stuck offering the same few foods every day. Serving both fresh and store-bought snacks will make it easier to feed your child nutritious food that they’ll find delicious. To avoid offering the same few foods we’ve compiled a list of seven great, easy and healthy toddler-friendly snacks.
Fruit Platter – Pre-cut fruit and store it in the fridge or freezer to prolong its life! For a delicious platter, slice up apples, bananas, berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), oranges, grapes, kiwifruit, melon, mango or pear.
Vegetable Platter – Switch it up by serving your child a vegetable platter, instead of fruit. For a nutritious platter include snap peas, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, frozen peas or corn.
Cheese and Wholegrain Crackers – A quick and delicious throw-together snack, perfect for those busy days. If your toddler can’t do dairy, substitute the cheese for hummus or nut butter.
Yoghurt Pouches – A great toddler snack that you can throw into your bag if you’re on the go. If your toddler can’t eat dairy, then substitute this snack for a fruit pouch.
Frozen Banana Pops – Turn an ordinary banana into a fun and healthy snack by freezing it on a popsicle stick. Frozen bananas have a delicious, creamy taste and are the perfect healthy snack for cooling down in summer!
Avocado Toast – Packed with nutrients, avocados have a mild flavour and creamy texture, making them a suitable snack for young eaters of every age. Mash the avocado into toast and cut the bread into toddler-sized bites for a great snack.
Leftovers! – Whether it’s leftover breakfast, lunch or dinner – snack time is a great time to get in some extra nutrition. Feeding your toddler leftover oatmeal or pasta salad as a mini-meal is a smart strategy when it comes to meeting their energy needs.