Young children have small stomachs and are limited in how much they can eat at one time. That is why it is important to make every bite count. In order to help reach your child’s nutritional needs for the day, try thinking of snacks as ‘mini meals’. Having mini meals will help satisfy your child’s hunger longer and prevent the need for grazing.
In a mini meal try to include a source of protein such as meat, dairy, eggs or a healthy fat such as peanut butter or olive oil and a fruit and/or vegetable. Try not to eat the foods from cereals, bread, pasta or rice group on their own.
Example ‘Mini meals’:
- Cheese stick and pear
- Peanut butter and apple
- English muffin pizza with cheese and veggies
- Leftovers from last night’s dinner on a small plate
- Tortilla with mozzarella cheese and carrots on the side
- ½ Toasty sandwich with tomato
- Vegetables and pita with hummus
- Wheat breakfast biscuits, strawberries and milk
- Yoghurt with cut up fruit
- Tuna with biscuits and capsicum
- Hardboiled egg and salad
- Vegetable soup with added lentils.
Fun snack ideas:
- Swap crackers for cucumber rounds and add topping such as cheese spread
- Make dips using vegetables and fruits for example avocado or salsa
- Use fruit such as apple slices to dip into yoghurt
- Offer a salad or a veggie soup as a snack.
Eat snacks at the designated eating place in your home, such as the kitchen table. Turn off the TV and enjoy your snack.
> Useful resources for Session Six: 18 Months