Feeding a toddler is a challenging task. Growth and development are accelerated during this period and what you feed your child now will definitely reflect upon his health later. Also it will reflect in his or her food choices in later life.
A toddler is in a stage of overall development-mental, physical and social. He is learning new things and is in awe of his surroundings. There are new things to capture his attention and this can make it very difficult to make them sit for a meal.
Thus, making meal times fun-times is indispensable. The colours, the taste and textures all are new for them and adding variety is what works best for them. Their requirements for protein, carbohydrates, fats and other nutrients is also high and cannot be fulfilled by only sticking to family meal times. You need to provide nutrition in form of energy bars to meet the requirements of rapid growth and development.
SNACKS IDEAS FOR TODDLERS
Snacks you provide to toddlers need to be small and bite-sized and should not keep them away from their play time for long. The following snack list will help you add variety, experiment with new foods and also provide option when you are out of options.
- Fresh fruit snacks
Fruits are juicy and nutritious treat your child would love. The burst of healthful nutrients and bountiful anti-oxidants in fruits will surely keep your little one at par with his developmental needs. Fruits you should introduce include- apples, (thinly sliced), bananas, berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries), oranges (cut and go for the pulp if needed), grapes (sliced into halves), kiwi, melon, mango, pears etc.
Boiled, steamed, sliced or cut vegetables are great finger foods to give your child. They can easily eat them without disrupting their play. Few vegetables that you should necessarily add to your child’s diet include- tomatoes, carrots, pea, corn, cucumber.
- Dried fruits
Along with fresh fruits, dried fruits can also be a great treat for your little ones. Using dried fruits as rewards or sweet treats instead of chocolates/ candies is a great way to steer them towards healthy eating habits.
- Ready to eat snacks
We understand as a home maker or a working mother it can be difficult to prepare snacks for your child all the time. You can keep shelf stable snacks handy like nutrition bars, baked apple chips, dried fruits, cheese, yoghurt, nut butter, freeze-dried vegetables, raisin, cottage cheese etc.
You can try to pair two or more food items together to balance it up and make it more interesting and yummy for your child. No matter what one thing to remember while feeding your toddler is never force them. You can always reintroduce a particular food later and he might accept it readily.