Just like adults, kids like to snack too. From diced carrots to cheese sticks, they love them all.
Snacking is bad. Actually, it’s great for their growth!
As babies grow older and start eating solid food, their bodies develop faster and require more calories and get hungry quite often. Snacking is the best way to deliver more calories and nutrients, without them having to overfeed.
Just like their food, snacks of babies and toddlers should be controlled. You don’t want your little one to get hooked to sugary snacks and sweets. There are many health problems that accompany unhealthy snacking habits. It includes
- Sugar addiction
- Picky or fussy eating
- Constant constipation
- Bloating and belching
Why Healthy Snacks?
As your little one grows, snacking is one of the ways to introduce new and healthy food options to them. It will help pacify your hungry little as you go about your daily chores.
Because babies have small stomachs, they are required to eat at short intervals. Snacking is one of the ways to feed your baby other than breastmilk or baby formula all the time.
Snacking on vegetables and fruits will include more fiber and other plant-based nutrients into your baby’s diet.
If proper snacks are given at the appropriate snack time, your little one will develop good eating habits and healthy eating lifestyle, which they’ll grow with.
Snack time is a great way to introduce a whole lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and cereals into your baby’s food.
Babies tend to accept fruits more than vegetables in general. Choose fruits that are riper since they taste better and less sour.
All fruits and vegetables that require peeling should be peeled and all seeds removed.
Store-bought baby snacks are a good idea, as long as they don’t contain artificial coloring and GMO’s.
Whole grain cereals are better than polished ones. They contain more fiber which is good for your baby’s digestion.
Left over meals may be used as snacks, if they are stored properly after meal time.
Meat, fish and other protein are great for snacking too!
Since most babies (and even adults) snack on impulse despite having a fixed snack time, always keep healthy snacks at hand.
Healthy snack ideas for babies include:
- Whole grain slice of bread
- Whole grain cereal with baby milk or formula
- Soft fresh fruits like watermelon, pears, apple, bananas, papaya, berries and oranges.
- Soft vegetables like avocado
- Nut or seed butter like peanut and almond
- Mashed vegetables like carrots, potatoes, chickpeas, pumpkin
- Pumpkin soup
- Pureed fruits and beans
Babies should be supervised during snacking to prevent choking.
Healthy snack ideas for toddlers (older than 12 moths) include:
- Plain unsweetened full fat yoghurt
- Milk or yoghurt-based smoothies
- Whole grain cereal with milk
- Nut butter on a whole grain toast
- Toasted nuts
- Mashed avocado on whole grain toast
- Steamed, diced carrots, potatoes, butternut squash,
- Diced beef, lamb, pork or tofu
- Scrambled or hard-boiled egg
- Sugar free granola bar
- Boiled or seamed corn (off the cob)
- Pita bread
- Small cuts of cheese
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