One of the prerequisites for the proper growth and development of a child of any age is the importance of healthy eating habits.
As an adult, it’s easy enough to cope with a sudden feeling of hunger. There are plenty of options: fruit, nuts, all sorts of snacks, or at least a drink of coffee. But it’s not easy with small children, especially toddlers.
Some kids at this age are so busy exploring the world that they simply cannot stop and eat well. Other babies, on the other hand, are too picky about food and may constantly demand one particular meal, refusing all other foods. Children of this age require 1,000 to 1,200 calories daily, which they have difficulty getting at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s why adding a snack -an in-between meal- is essential to help the child satisfy hunger and replenish nutrients and vitamins.
What are healthy snacks for kids?
Your control and influence over your child’s eating will never be more significant than it is now. Kids eat only what is offered and what they can reach or ask for themselves. Take this opportunity to set the right nutritional goals for a lifetime. Whole wheat cookies or organic baby cereal are suitable options for snacking. Try to find only healthy foods and choose the freshest products rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. And at the same time, avoid convenience and processed foods, especially fast food. They contain a lot of sugar, salt, and fats.
Kids aged 1-3 years usually eat on their own, so consider this when choosing a meal. The baby should easily grab pieces with his or her fingers or an appliance that will be just enough for him or her to take one bite:
- Morning porridge.
- Sliced fruit.
- Small cookies or whole-grain muffins.
- Sliced cheese.
And don’t forget that a child doesn’t need a large portion of food. Adults tend to overestimate the amount of food a child needs to be satiated. Therefore, it is always advisable to offer your baby a small portion. Half a bowl of cereal and half a glass of milk are great for a second breakfast, and, for example, a banana and half a cup of yogurt will be an excellent afternoon snack.
Letting your baby choose
To diversify the diet, you can offer your baby a piece of cheese as a snack. Even a one-year-old child feels the need to control and decide things for himself. A snack is good enough for a child to feel in control of some aspect of their own life. Offer your toddler a few proper and healthy foods to choose from and step back. Let him choose what he wants and eat exactly what he needs. Although it may seem strange, you have to get over the urge to give your child food that he loves all the time. You may want to try offering new foods along with the ones you already know and love. Even if the child vehemently rejects the new food, try making a different dish with it next time or offer it again a few days later. Always remember that it sometimes takes up to 10 attempts to “feed” your child a new product before your baby agrees to try it at least.