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.