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
- 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.
- Serve snacks in the kitchen without any distractions (including television, video games, and computers) that can cause mindless overeating.
- For maximum nutrients, aim for at least two food groups per snack. Try breadsticks and cheese, or celery and peanut butter.
- 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.
- Think outside the snack-food box. Serve hard-boiled eggs or a whole-wheat tortilla with cheese.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prevent cavities. Encourage your child to brush their teeth or rinse their mouth with water after snacking.
- Relax. A few cookies or chips are okay. It’s the long-term quality of your child's diet that counts.
Guide to Healthy SnackingKids 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 KiddosIf 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 PortionsThere'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
- 200 Calorie Snacks
Snacks That Fill GapsHere are some essential nutrients and foods your kid may be missing, and treats that’ll pick up the slack.
- Fruits and vegetables
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!