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What are the best healthy snacks for babies?

baby holding an apple

Key points:
1. Snacks are a valuable way to balance nutrients and support your child’s diet, catering to both hunger and appetite between meals.
2. Introduce snacks consistently at the same time to establish routine and anticipation for eating.
3. Prioritize nutritious options, like fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains, while avoiding processed junk food.
4. Offering a variety of healthy snacks at home encourages better eating habits, prevents overeating, and maintains enthusiasm for mealtimes.

Who doesn’t like snacks? They’re delicious, very easy to prepare, and help balance the number of nutrients required for your child’s diet. If you think that your little one doesn’t eat enough at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a healthy snack can serve as nutritional support. On the other hand, your little one might have a healthy appetite and eat very well but still get hungry between meals. Healthy snacks for kids are a great way to keep your child happy and satisfied.

How do I introduce healthy snacks for kids?

It’s best to introduce snacks each day at the same time. Remember children do better with routines, so make sure you serve them snacks at about the same hour. That way, your child will learn to anticipate food at certain hours and will be prepared for them.

Now, there will be days when your baby doesn’t finish the entire snack either because they aren’t hungry or don’t like it. However, try to continue offering the snacks at the same time to avoid confusion in your child’s routine. Also, you can try letting your little one choose their healthy snacks. Offer nutritious foods and then let them choose what to eat.

Which snacks should I offer my little one?

Many kids’ snacks tend to be of lower nutritional value, however, if you choose healthy options, these can support your child’s eating plan. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests the following recommendations about healthy snacks for kids:

  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake. Snack time is a great opportunity to increase the number of fruits and vegetables your little one has every day. Allow them to choose between two or three options. Also, you can pair the fruits and vegetables with dairy products like cheese, or whole-grain cereals and bread.
  • Keep healthy foods at home. It is more convenient and easier to introduce healthy snacks to your child if you keep different healthy items at hand. Try to have in your kitchen raw vegetables and fruit, yogurt dip, hummus, and cheese sticks.
  • Avoid processed food. Avoid giving junk food to your little one since they contain a lot of added sugar and salt. These snacks don’t add any healthy nutritional value to their diet.

Offer two to three snacks every day, establishing good eating habits. With a small portion, your child will probably be satisfied, and it will prevent them from rejecting the whole snack and allow them to get to dinner time with enthusiasm.

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