Healthy snacks for Children

Parents are very much confused about what snacks one can give their children. Children need a snack which should be high in energy and fats and adequate in proteins. But children are bombarded with a lot of unhealthy snacks such as chips, colas, candies, instant noodles etc.

Remember that children model their parents, teachers, and other older children and adults. If you choose healthy snacks for yourself, a child who is watching will learn about good eating habits. Nutritious snacks will help children to get all the vitamins and minerals they need each day. To make wise choices, use the food pyramid when you are planning snacks and meals. This useful tool will help you provide the children with the correct number of servings from the dairy, fruit, vegetable, and grain groups.

Although nutritious foods are best for a child’s snacks and meals, don’t eliminate certain other foods completely. Denying a child birthday cake, Halloween candy, or Christmas cookies may make the child want those foods more often. This is also true of foods like french fries, chips, or cookies. These foods do provide calories, which the preschoolers may need! As long as other nutrient requirements are met, extra calories usually won’t hurt an active child. Including these foods occasionally may also teach the child about moderation, and that’s something they’ll need to practice later in life!

A few ideas that can be given-

  • Crunchy veggies with a yogurt dip.
  • Raisins- Loaded with antioxidants and high in carbohydrates (an immediate source of energy), raisins are also high in fiber and iron.
  • Fruit juice- Make sure it’s 100 percent fruit, with no added sugar, and you’ll give your child the goodness of fruit in a tall, refreshing glass.
  • Fruit shakes- Whip together a banana, a splash of fruit juice, and a handful of berries in your blender, and you’ve got a nutritious shake. You can add yogurt for more protein and calcium. For the best consistency, freeze the fruit beforehand or use frozen yogurt.
  • Nuts- Nuts are high in fat, but it’s a kind that’s as good for the heart and arteries as olive oil. Nuts are also loaded with protein and essential vitamins and minerals — and they’re wonderfully filling.
  • Brown bread sandwich with peanut butter and alot of veggies can serve as an ideal evening snack.

Do not add too much of cheese, sugar and white breads or refined cereals. Encourage them to play alot of sports and restrict the amount of television viewing and computer games. Be an Idol for them to follow by making healthy and right choices.

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Sanjana Shenoy

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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9 Responses to Healthy snacks for Children

  1. Suman Kudva October 30, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi Dr.Sanjana,I am from Manipal basically living in Kuwait.I found your articles very informative.I will for sure follow your advice.Thanks for the wonderful educative articles.____Suman

  2. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian November 10, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Thanks Suman….

  3. Online gezondheid March 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Good evening to everybody. As a glad editor of a magazine online I would love to subscribe the newsletter. What is the mailing list link? Thanks a lot, John.

  4. Manoj July 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Its a very useful information provided by you. Thanks

  5. Jalpa October 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    hi, can u share some healthy snacks recipe for us. my son is 11 year old, he is fond of junk food. can u suggest recipes or ideas where food look-wise and taste-wise and health-wise good for his age.

  6. Kaneez Ayesha January 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Hi, it is very beneficial information for all kids and the moms I really appreciate. I have an autistic grandson who is 4yr old, I need suggestion what deit is good for him, he is very picky and he likes to eat sugery stuff and if he doesnt get he shows his tantrums and it is very hard for the parents to handle him. Sanjana thanks so much for such wonderful information.

    Kaneez Ayesha
    chicago

  7. Swetha February 23, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Sanjana, Thank you for all the useful information.

    I agree with Jalpa. It will be very help if we could get some recepies for Snacks and Meals.

    Swetha.
    Minneapolis.

  8. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian March 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Swetha and Jalpa,

    thanks for the suggestion. will work on it.

  9. Summerbir Sran March 7, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    HI! sanjana!
    My name is samar sran n I am currently living in Canada. I am suffering from constipation, my liver is a little swollen too and I have irregular menstruation too. My androgen levels are high. Can you suggest a diet plan that can help my health. Also, I need a satisfying meal atleast twice a day which could include most of the Indian salty foods. Please suggest a good diet. I badly need it. Also, I have cravings for Indian snacks which is hard to control. Also, I am not a huge fan of fruits.
    regards.

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