Little kids are always out for a snack. As soon as you give them one, they’ll come right back asking for something else. If you’re new to the parenting game, you might be trying to figure out how to handle this snacking business. We’ve got you covered with these easy tips.
It’s fine to give your kids cookies or chips sometimes. But doing it all the time isn’t healthy. Choose snacks that come from the food groups such as fruit or veggies. If you’re on the go, use zipper bags to take along carrot sticks or apple slices. Bake your own baked goods so they will be healthier than store-bought ones with additives.
Watch portion size
Be careful that you don’t give too many snacks to your child. If you do, don’t be mad when he doesn’t want to eat dinner even if it’s something he usually likes. Children have smaller stomachs than we do too so keep that in mind when doling out the snacks.
Keep watch on the time
Ideally, the best time for snacks is the exact mid-point between meals. So figure a snack every 2 or 3 hours. But if your child keeps pestering you for more snacks, try the good old-fashioned distraction technique to make him forget about it.
Look for signs of hunger
Every child is different so relying on the time isn’t a hard and fast rule. You need to also watch your child for any cues of hunger. Children aren’t like us. Sometimes lunch time can come and go and your child won’t be hungry. That’s ok. When they are hungry, they will eat.
Most children will tell you they want a snack, but if you ask them what they want for a snack, they might not know, or they may ask for something you don’t have. You’ll exhaust yourself if you list everything in the pantry. Instead, give a choice of 2 items and let him choose. “Do you want a banana or some grapes?” The power of choice makes your little one feel like he’s in charge. Plus, he’s much more likely to eat the item he’s personally selected instead of dumping it all over the floor.
Above all, set a good example with snacking. If your child always sees you munching on chips and cookies, he’s going to want to do the same. Make healthy choices for your own snacks too. Swap out those chips and dips for hummus and pretzels. You’ll be surprised and delighted when your child wants to eat those healthy things along with you. That’s how you create good eating habits for life!