As a household that strives to offer healthy toddler snacks, it can still be difficult with picky tendencies and just the fact that toddlers can be so strong willed! I am so excited to share a guest post with you today from Dr. Orlena Kerek from the blog Snotty Noses. She has so awesome tips and tricks to get toddlers to eat healthier and maybe not get so fixated on eating all carbohydrates! And she even has an upcoming online workshop about helping kids eat healthy that’s completely free.
What do your children eat for snacks? Biscuits, crisps, cakes? Perhaps an apple here or there?
But mostly biscuits? Mine used to be like that too. We’d go to friends for the afternoon and I’d
watch in horror as they would shovel biscuit after biscuit into their mouths. Paralysed by fear, I
didn’t know how to stop them. The other children would eat one or two and stop. Mine kept going!
Then they weren’t hungry at dinner and I’d worry that they weren’t eating any vegetables. Clearly
not! They’d just eaten enough calories, those extra tasty sugary ones, for a month. Why would they
Please note that I have included affiliate links for Orlena’s Free workshop as well as her children eat healthy eCourse!
Snacks and ‘healthy’ don’t often get used together in the same sentence. Especially if you have
toddlers or young children. But wouldn’t it be great if they would eat healthy snacks? Just think, if
they ate healthily through out the day, you wouldn’t be so worried about dinner. If snacks were
packed with fruit and veggies (instead of all those…packets) who would worry about the odd pea at
dinner time? I know packets are easy to reach for. They’re convenient, too convenient. But other
things can be quick and easy too. (Yep, fruit!)
Tips & Tricks to help you feed your children healthy snacks
1. Have regular snack times. These don’t have to be exact times but kids love routine, so do their
tummies. As a general rule of thumb, kids (especially little ones) need to eat every 2 and a half
to 3 hours.
2. Offer fruit or vegetables with every snack. Kids can’t eat what they haven’t been offered. I’ve
often been surprised by my 2 year olds who have a biscuit in one hand and a slice of pear in
the other…they often eat the pear first. It doesn’t matter if they only eat a bit of the good stuff.
It’s getting them used to it.
3. Try to sit down at a table for your snack. It’s a great way to teach your kids that it’s eating
time…and when they get down, it’s stopping time. Eating when we are hungry and stopping
when we are full is a great lesson to learn. (It can be difficult for children to express that they
are full. My kids say that their tummies hurt but what they mean is they’ve eaten enough.)
4. Try to offer a mixture of things…fruit with yoghurt, toast with cheese and apple, biscuits with
fruit. Try not to offer carbohydrates by themselves, they’re full of energy but not great at
keeping you feeling full. If you mix up your food groups those little tummies will stay full for
5. Offer variety. Kids aren’t great at trying new things but the more variety they have, the more is
likely to get put on the ‘accepted list’! It’s difficult at first. If you’re kids aren’t keen on variety, try
offering foods at different times of the day first (like a ‘lunch’ food for a snack). Then move onto
6. Offer things for them to choose from, for example, dips with different types of vegetables sticks.
They might not eat all the vegetable sticks, but you may be surprised at how many they will try.
(This is how I got my 3 year old to try celery…gasp!)
If you offer regular healthy snacks, you don’t have to worry if they don’t eat it. It won’t be that long
until the next healthy snack or meal. As with all habits, it can take a while to get into the groove.
Once you have, it’s much much easier to maintain. Habits are difficult to change. When you’re in
the habit they just happen. The habit of healthy eating is definitely a great one to aim for.