How to Introduce Healthier Snacks Into Your Kid’s Diet

How to Introduce Healthier Snacks Into Your Kid’s Diet

When it comes to your munchkin’s snacking habits, you want to make sure they have nutritious snacks without overloading on junk food. Today, your Baked Smart Cookie team is here to provide some great ideas to help you transition healthy snacks into your kid’s diet that they will definitely enjoy.

10 Healthy Snacking Principles

  1. Time it properly. Snacks are meant to complement meals, not replace them. Offer a snack at regular times every day, at least 1 ½ hours before a meal.
  2. Serve snacks in the kitchen without any distractions (including television, video games, and computers) that can cause mindless overeating.
  3. For maximum nutrients, aim for at least two food groups per snack. Try breadsticks and cheese, or celery and peanut butter.
  4. Practice what you preach. You can't expect your kid to learn healthy snacking habits if you're cheating with a candy bar. Be a good role model.
  5. Think outside the snack-food box. Serve hard-boiled eggs or a whole-wheat tortilla with cheese.
  6. Encourage shelf-control. If your child is old enough to raid the snack cabinet, put healthy stuff front and center, and sweets and chips out of sight.
  7. Travel wisely. When you're in the car, bring items like string cheese, mini bags of pretzels, dry cereal, juice boxes, and baby carrots in a small cooler or insulated lunch box.
  8. Push protein. Keep your child satisfied by including protein in their between-meal munchies, such as cheese, peanut butter, and single-serving cans of tuna.
  9. Prevent cavities. Encourage your child to brush their teeth or rinse their mouth with water after snacking.
  10. Relax. A few cookies or chips are okay. It’s the long-term quality of your child's diet that counts.

Guide to Healthy Snacking

Kids are suckers for the cartoon-themed packaging of supermarket snacks, but if you're seeking more affordable and nutritious ways to fuel your little ones, try making fun snacks at home to give them that special homemade love.

Here are some easy ways to do so:
  • Fill tiny, colorful storage containers with cheese and crackers, pea pods and dip, mini cookies, or dried fruit.
  • Pack mini resealable plastic bags with your kid's favorites to control portion sizes.
  • Serve snacks in different ways. Pour cereal and milk into a mug and freeze, use single-serve containers of applesauce, or make a "painter's palate" by putting dabs of flavored yogurt on a plate and serving it with graham crackers.

Snack Pyramid for Kiddos

If you aren’t sure what's truly healthy and what should be saved for an occasional treat, here’s a pyramid to help plan your child's snacks every week:
  • For special treats only: candy, chocolate, cheese puffs, potato chips, corn chips, cookies, toaster pastries, cupcakes, snack cakes, doughnuts, french fries, or soda.
  • Fine 3 or 4 times a week: pretzels, ice cream, frozen yogurt, snack crackers, frozen pizza bagels, pudding, vanilla wafers, animal crackers, granola bars, ice pops, or fruit juice.
  • Good for each day: whole-wheat crackers, unsweetened cereal, cut-up veggies, fresh fruit, dried fruit, string cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, or breadsticks.

Picking the Right Portions

There's an epidemic of childhood obesity in the U.S., so being aware of portion sizes is especially imperative. Kids currently get 25% of their daily calories from snacks, compared to 20% decades ago. Kids need to snack, but extra snacks can add on unhealthy weight.

Try sticking to three 100- to 150-calorie snacks for preschoolers and two 200-calorie snacks for school-age children.
  • 100-150 Calorie Snacks
1 cup applesauce
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1 oz. string cheese with crackers
1 slice whole-grain toast with low-fat spread
1 cup cereal and milk
  • 200 Calorie Snacks
Veggies and low-fat dip
2 rice cakes and peanut butter
½ cup trail mix
½ sandwich with lean meat on whole-wheat bread
Baked potato with cheese

Snacks That Fill Gaps

Here are some essential nutrients and foods your kid may be missing, and treats that’ll pick up the slack.
  • Calcium
Calcium is critical for proper growth and bone-building throughout childhood. 11% of 1- to 3-year-olds and 40% of 4- to 8-year-olds don't get enough.
Some power snacks include calcium-fortified mini waffles, ice-cream cones filled with yogurt, mixed cereal and fruit, chunks of banana dipped in yogurt and rolled in cereal, and pretzel sticks with cheese cubes on either end.
  • Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants. Plus, they're low in calories, fat-free, and help keep children hydrated.
Power snacks include a fruit and veggie smiley face on a plate (using peanut butter as the glue), and baked chips and salsa.
  • Protein
Protein helps build the muscle necessary for peak growth. It also helps combat infection.
Power snacks include a piece of ham rolled around string cheese, hard-boiled egg wedges, peanut butter spread on apple slices, and whole-wheat pita cut into quarters and spread with bean dip.
  • Fiber
High-fiber diets tend to be healthier overall since fiber-rich foods hold more nutrients and prevent overeating. Fiber also decreases constipation.
Power snacks include wheat germ sprinkled into yogurt and ice cream, whole-wheat tortillas spread with hummus, and raisin bran and milk.

Baked Smart Cookie: A Fun, Healthy Snack That Can Smooth Your Kid’s Transition to More Nutrition

Part of being a kid is looking forward to snacks throughout the day. If you think your child’s diet should include healthier snacks, our cookie can be a yummy, nutritious option to add on to that list of guilt-free nibbles.

We understand that you want your kid to grow up healthy and strong, and that’s why we came up with this cookie that is yummy with all-natural sugars from fruits and veggies, along with tons of nutrients!

 

Treat your child with a snack that is healthy and rich in flavor

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