Many people look at toddlers and wonder where in the world they get all their energy. In fact, many older people find themselves wishing they had half the energy a 2 year old has. The fact is that toddlers actually need every bit of the energy they have. This energy is what allows young children to grow, develop and function properly. And, this is why healthy snacks for toddlers are so important. Food is what provides us with the energy we need, and it is no different for toddlers!
By giving toddlers several snacks in addition to their daily meals, parents are providing their toddlers’ little bodies with nutrients that will be turned into the energy they need. This energy will be used to help promote healthy brain functioning, language development, motor skills and much more. Once parents are able to understand this, then they begin to understand why healthy snacks for toddlers are so important.
We all know that we need to eat at least three meals a day for a balanced diet. This is true for everyone: adults, teens, young children and toddlers. The trick for toddlers is getting them to be interested in food, because they do have days where the last thing they want to do is eat. So, to help offset this, healthy snacks for toddlers are needed three to four times a day. Again, I’m stressing the word “healthy” because many parents think all snacks are equal and they aren’t. Snacks with high amounts of sugar such as cake, oatmeal crme pies and moon pies do nothing to promote healthy development in children. Instead, parents should look for snacks that will last a while and provide healthy energy boosts. These snacks may have sugars, but the difference is that they are natural sugars.
Keep in mind when looking for healthy snacks for toddlers, that they can be simple snacks. You don’t have to go all out and create a masterpiece for your little one to eat it. Flavorful fruits like watermelon, oranges, bananas, kiwi and grapes are usually well-received by toddlers. Other snack options include whole-grain breads, yogurt, cheese or even a peanut butter sandwich! If you are having difficulty deciding whether a snack is healthy or not then just skim over the ingredient list. You want to find snacks that contain natural ingredients. Usually longer ingredient lists have more artificial ingredients.
Providing young children with healthy snacks will not only give them the essential nutrients they need to develop properly, but will also improve their moods, help them sleep better at night and instill healthy food habits that will last a lifetime. Also, don’t feel limited to just fruits and vegetables when shopping for healthy snacks for toddlers. You do have the freedom to experiment with different foods and make your own healthy snacks. If you enjoy cooking, then bake some homemade snacks! Just substituting white baking flour with 100% whole wheat flour will make a difference in the nutrients your kiddos will get. Just remember to make snack time fun and exciting!