Your challenge: One of the most often heard phrases in your house is “I’m hungry.” Yet, having delicious, nutritious, kid-approved snacks actually feels like a complicated battle of predicting what your toddler will actually palate on any given day.
The solution: Empower your toddler to make their own choices—while secretly staying in control of the healthy options—through some planning, prep and packing. That way, the next time your kid is hangry while you’re stuck in the middle of a line (we’ve all been there!), you will be ready to fill them up and calm them down.
Put healthy options within their reach: Establish a snack drawer or cabinet accessible to kids. The catch: Only fill it with healthy snack options that will give them the boost they need without spoiling their meals. Think fruit, whole-grain crackers and portion-sized trail mix. That way, you’re putting some power into their hands—which is really what some kids crave most of all.
some guidelines: Would your kid gladly fill up on snacks, but then says “no thank you” the moment dinner is on the table? Although growing kids need fuel, you can stop snack time from becoming an all-day event by announcing a cut-off some 45 minutes before mealtime.
Reserve some special snacks for on-the-go: Pre-portioned snacks are brilliant and oh-so-convenient for tossing in your bag before running out the door. But they do come at a premium price that can be easily avoided by making a “no wrappers at home” rule. Instead, encourage snacking on fresh fruits, veggies, rice crackers, yogurt from the tub—or Goldfish crackers poured out of the big box. (We get it.)
Invest in reusable snack cases: You could go through a box of plastic bags per week—or save yourself the constant purchase by investing in some reusable sandwich bags, small stainless steel containers and bento boxes. For some extra credit, set aside time one day each week to prepare all the snacks for the coming days.
Pro tip: Treat your little one to a snack sampling tray made up of fruits, nuts, veggies, hummus and other foods you would love to see them eat. They will appreciate the options and you could be pleasantly surprised by what they pick.
You’ve got this.
Motherly + Kids 2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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