Children have very small stomach and cannot get all the essential nutrients from their regular three meals/day plan. Therefore, these young ones need snacks so as to maintain the nutrient balance in their body. Also, snacks help the kids to stay energetic throughout the day. Healthy snacks are essential for children’s growth and should be mandatorily incorporated in their daily diet. It is the responsibility of the parents to devise a diet plan that has a balanced supply of all the necessary nutrients for their kid. When children consume snacks, it offers calories which in turn nourish them with the nutrients.
Tips to kick start healthy snacking for your kid
- Practice healthy snacking before preaching your kid. It is not right to ask your kids to eat fruits and other healthy snacks when you are munching on Lays, Nachos or other junk food.
- Make snack time as a part of their routine. Schedule them in between meal times with small portions. They need to get used to it so that it becomes a lifetime habit.
- Never reward their good behavior with their favorite snack. This will make them think that more they are good, the more snacks will be afforded which is not good for their health.
- Always carry healthy snacks – dry fruits, cookies, fruit bars - wherever you go with your kids so that you are not forced to buy junk and the less nutritious ones.
- Go snack shopping with the entire family so that the kids get to participate and thereby understand the importance of healthy snacks.
- Give them the choice to select from the available healthy snacks. This will make them feel important and eventually less tantrums during snacking. (For they will munch on what they chose for themselves!)
Healthy Snacking choices
- Include grain products, such as roasted, boiled pulses or lentils. It may also be cookies made out of millets.
- Nuts & seeds are good option for higher fat foods, as they are high in essential fats & fat-soluble vitamins.
- Balance your higher fat foods with lower fat foods like fruits and vegetables either fresh or dry.
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