Toddlers are notorious nibblers. Their small bellies mean they can't eat a lot at one time, and their go-go-go nature means they don't want to sit at the table too long. Snacking can help add needed nourishment into a toddler's day — as long as it's done right. Here are four strategies to be smarter about snacks.
Strategy 1: Snacking on the Go
Carry one or two small and easy snacks — such as a banana or small container of whole-grain crackers —
in case hunger strikes while you're out. Try other distractions first (such as a book or small toy) when you
need to buy time.
Strategy 2: Timing Is Everything
Space meals and snacks two to three hours apart. If your toddler's hunger doesn't seem to match up with
your mealtimes, consider moving meals earlier or serving your child a portion of the meal, such as the
veggies, while you finish prepping.
Strategy 3: Make Snacks Nutritious
During most snack times, serve the same kinds of foods you serve at mealtime, such as fresh fruits and
vegetables, whole grains including whole-wheat tortillas and bread, sources of protein such as hard-boiled
eggs and hummus and dairy products such as yogurt and cheese.
Strategy 4: Establish a Snack Schedule
Establish scheduled snack times. Most toddlers can go two hours between meals and snacks, so a midmorning, mid-afternoon and evening snack may work well. Asking your toddler to wait may be tricky at first if munching on demand is the norm. By sticking to dependable meal and snack times, your child will feel reassured that there are plenty of opportunities to eat.