A lot of energy is consumed by a toddler as he or she grows and plays. A toddler has a tiny stomach that is not able to store sufficient food to prevent him or her from getting hungry between meals. Young toddlers need a morning and afternoon snack. It is important to time these snacks immaculately so that the kid is hungry for lunch and dinner.
Balanced diet is a must when it comes to snacks. Snacks are typically associated with highly processed foods. This notion can be changed by serving freshly prepared foods to your kids even as snacks.
- Apples, bananas, peaches, pears (these fruits should be served in thinly sliced form to ensure safety)
- Cherries, grapes, plums (these fruits should be served in thinly sliced or mashed and pitted form to ensure safety)
- Orange or grapefruit (cut into pieces)
- Apples, apricots, peaches, pears (cut up into pieces of slices)
- Dates, prunes (pitted and mashed and cut up)
- Raisins or cranberries
- Carrots, green beans (well done, diced)
- Steamed cauliflower, broccoli
- Yams or sweet potatoes (properly cooked and diced)
- Peas (mashed for safety)
- Steamed, pureed spinach or greens
- Avocado (slices or small cubes)
- Cheese (grated or diced)
- Cottage cheese
- Yogurt (both fresh or frozen)
- Milk (including non-dairy milk options)
Breads and cereals
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole grain tortilla, pita, or bagels (sliced into small pieces)
- Crackers (graham, whole grain)
- Whole grain dry cereals
- Rice cakes
- Fish (canned tuna, salmon, sardines, whitefish)
- Peanut butter or other nut butters
- Edamame beans or chickpeas (steamed or mashed) or hummus spreads
- Cooked tofu cubes or tofu dip
- Hard boiled eggs
Snacks to Avoid
Kids under the age of 4 can be severely harmed by large chunks of any kind of food and can lead to choking incidents. That is exactly why raw vegetables and some fruits such as carrots, apples, whole cherry tomatoes, whole green beans and celery should be sliced into small pieces and properly cooked to reduce the risk of choking. Peanuts, popcorns, nuts and big chunks of sticky foods such as peanut better can be dangerous choking hazards. Here is a detailed post on foods that are not safe for kids.
It is also crucial that you abstain from using heavily processed foods since they are low on nutritional value and high in salt and added sugar.