A Snack or Two Will Do

Snacks have become a bit of a problem these days – it’s the parents fault really. In a well-meaning parent’s quest to ensure that their child has eaten something….anything…the snack has started to overshadow the actual meal. With lots of prepackaged options, parents are quick to grab something to have on hand. What ends up happening is that the child begins to prefer these snacks to nutritious meals. So how can the well-intentioned parent get out of this risky cycle?

1) Offer healthy choices: Select nutritious options that are not too filling, like crispy apples, juicy orange slices, and crunchy carrots!
2) Provide small portions: Don’t overwhelm your child with a large amount of food. Remember, it’s just a snack. And you can always offer seconds since you have such healthy options.
3) Encourage your child to taste: Join your child in eating these healthy delights. Many times, toddlers are encouraged to taste a certain type of new food if they see their parents indulging.
4) Consider a different seating arrangement: Toddlers evolve quickly so make sure you evolve with him. Is it time for him to move from the high chair to a small table? For snacks, you can also throw down an oversized blanket and join him on the floor.
5) Let your child help you shop: Once you have established the ground rules, it will be easier to get it to stick if you let your child select his own healthy snacks at the grocery store. They will feel like they are making their own grown up choice!

These suggestions are all doable and should help make snack time healthier so that it won’t ruin your child’s dinner!

* Make mealtimes a pleasant, low-key experience — free of distractions (like the TV or siblings playing nearby).

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