Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Snack Time

It’s 2:30 p.m. and your toddler is hungry. Instead of turning to his or her regular favorite snack, mix it up with a new variety of food that not only gives him or her added nutrients, but tastes good, too.

Snacking is an important part of meeting a growing toddler’s nutritional needs—these “mini-meals” provide active toddlers with energy throughout the day that they may have missed at mealtime.

Control your child’s portion sizes, use small bags to pack snacks for quick, easy access.

Dairy options for snacking include:
*Low-fat chocolate milk
*Nonfat cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit
*String cheese with canned or fresh fruit
*Whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter or cheese
*Yogurt with granola or fresh fruit

Some fruit and veggie snacking combinations to try include:
*Apple slices and cheeses
*Baby carrots
*Dried fruit, including raisins and plums, with nuts
*Frozen fruit bars
*Raw veggie sticks with low-fat yogurt dip, hummus or cottage cheese
*Unsweetened applesauce cups

Grains that make for healthy snacks include:
*Bagel “pizzas” with tomato sauce and melted cheese
*Baked potato chips or tortilla chips with salsa
*Flavored rice cakes, such as apple cinnamon or caramel, with peanut butter
*Graham crackers, animal crackers, gingersnaps, fig bars or vanilla wafers with a glass of milk
*Popcorn, either air popped or low-fat microwave
*Pretzels, lightly salted or unsalted, and a glass of milk

Reviewed by Katherine Pederson, M.D., pediatrician at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.

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