Healthy snacks for little kids

I am sharing my views on healthy snacks for little ones courtesy of Mott’s Snack and Go Applesauce Pouches.

Some time between breastfeeding and back-to-school, there’s a transition: a nursing baby can eat up to 12 times per day while an adult human generally has three meals per day with a snack or two thrown in.

How do we get from one point to the other? By making it up as we go.

3 little boys in pajamas

As the mom, I am in charge of the what, when, and how of snacking. I decide if the whining preschooler rolling around on the floor needs a snack or is just bored with his usual array of toys and activities. I conclude whether my toddler’s recent boneless tantrum can be blamed on low blood sugar and whether I can learn any lessons for next time.

Since I turn into a huge B-word when I don’t get enough quality calories, I project my worldview onto my children. I offer my little people food about every two hours. I like to keep many healthy options around so all choices are good ones.

apples cheese and almonds

Here are five easy snack combos (as excerpted from our book, Stuff Every Mom Should Know):

  1. Apples and nut butter. Slice the apples, spread the peanut or almond butter, and serve with an extra helping of napkins.
  2. Fruit smoothie. Add frozen fruit, bananas, and yogurt to your blender. Serve with an extra wide straw.
  3. Hummus and pita. Offer pita for dipping or spread onto triangle wedges of whole-wheat pita. Older children can be offered carrot sticks too.
  4. Sunflower seeds and raisins. Great for a stroller snack, this modified trail mix can be eaten straight from the bag.
  5. Cheese and cherry tomatoes. Cheese sticks, cubes, shreds, or circles are a good boost of calcium and protein. Pair cheese with small tomatoes for sweetness.

On the weekends, I announce “Snack Time” like clockwork at 10am and 3pm. The boys tend to ignore me and keep right on playing. But on schooldays, if I don’t pick them up from after-school-care brandishing portable snacks, I’m “the Worst Mommy in the World.” Clearly, there’s no right answer.

I’m curious about your house: Do you push snacks on your child proactively, provide them only when asked, or deny them between meals?

Disclosure: Mott’s and Technorati have sponsored this article. All opinions, house rules, and stories are my own.

Words from our sponsor: Mott’s Snack & Go Applesauce Pouches have a taste kids love in a convenient package for on the go. They also have no added sugar and are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Find out more here.