Home > Food > Planning Healthy Meals > Healthy Snacks > Smart Snacking
|

Smart Snacking

Snacking is vital for young children because of their small stomachs. But be careful not to get into the habit of feeding the little ones all day long. Snacking times should be planned throughout the day, with a beginning and an end just like meals. Allow enough time for your child to be hungry again before offering a snack or meal; 1-1/2 to 2 hours between feedings usually works best for preschoolers.

Children who learn good habits at a young age are likely to continue to follow a good example once they are old enough to make choices for themselves. An occasional treat is not the end of the world, and rarely will a child turn down the opportunity to have one, but it should fit into an overall food plan, rather than replace it.

Remember, though, that adults usually set the example. If junk foods are brought home and shared nightly in front of the TV, kids are likely to develop some not-so-healthy habits. On the other hand, if a fresh fruit basket is shared instead, children may learn to make healthier choices.

The following list offers ideas for snacks – although this is by no means a complete list.

Finger-food snacks

Meat/protein foods

  • Cold chicken or turkey
  • Hard cooked eggs
  • Peanut butter
Milk & dairy foods
  • Cheese (sticks/cubes)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Ice milk, frozen yogurt
  • Milk shakes
  • Yogurt
Raw vegetables
(plain or with dip)
  • Broccoli florets
  • Carrots/baby carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery sticks stuffed with cheese or peanut butter
  • Cucumber slices
  • Green beans
  • Red, yellow, or green sweet peppers
  • Tomato wedges/cherry tomatoes
  • Turnip slices
  • Zucchini and yellow squash slices

Fruits

  • Apple wedges
  • Banana slices
  • Grapefruit sections
  • Melon balls or cubes
  • Peach or pear slices
  • Pitted prunes or plums
  • Raisins or yogurt raisins
  • Seedless grapes
  • Soft dried fruit
  • Strawberry slices
Breads & cereals
  • Animal crackers
  • Breadsticks
  • French toast sticks
  • Fruit-filled cookie bars
  • Graham crackers
  • Mini-bagels
  • Mini-muffins
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Pretzels
  • Raisin bread
  • Rice cakes
  • Toasted bagel or pita chips
  • Vanilla wafers
|

From Quick Meals for Healthy Kids and Busy Parents. Copyright 1995 by Sandra K. Nissenberg, Margaret L. Bogle, and Audrey C. Wright. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

To order this book visit www.wiley.com.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

7 Home Remedies to Soothe Cold & Flu Symptoms
The AAP does not recommend giving over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to children under 4, so treating children's cold and flu symptoms naturally can be the best course of action. Read about some home remedies that might help.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Awesome Thanksgiving Games & Activities for Families
Looking for fun Thanksgiving Day activities for the whole family? Check out 11 kid-friendly indoor and outdoor activities that will bring your family together in the spirit of the holiday.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!