As we’ve discussed in prior snack articles, snacking is A-OK.

The goal with a snack is to think of it as a mini meal. Once you’re in that mini meal mindset you’ll feel comfortable serving your child (and yourself) similar foods like you would serve at a meal. This helps you fill in the nutritional gaps in your/your child’s diet, and it’ll make it less tempting for your child to want to skip a meal to get a snack.

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I recommend serving at least two food groups at a snack. This does a couple of things: Firstly, it helps fill and satisfy hungry bellies. It also ensures helps with getting those nutrients, variety is so important.

* Some snacks listed below are choking hazards for children under 4 (see more at the end of the article)

  1. Dress up your fruit:
    • Fruits (or veg) dipped into peanut butter (1 or 2 tbsp in a small reusable container will do the trick, or you can buy the portioned packs)
  2. Freeze-dried fruit (ingredients should only be “fruit”)
    • Keep a bag stashed in your pantry and take it with you, there’s nothing added… it’s just fruit!
  3. Cucumber cut into spears
    • With chili, dill, or cayenne pepper
  4. Cucumber spears with a little extra protein and calcium boost
    • Mix some granulated garlic and dried dill into some plain yogurt, voila = dip
  5. Hard boiled eggs
  6. Cheese
  7. Dried fruit (~30g/1oz) *
    • No prep required
  8. Unsalted nuts (~30g/1oz)*
    • Also, no prep required
  9. Make your own (MYO) trail mix*
    • ~30g/1oz of unsalted nuts and dried fruit (or for a husband approved version, add a few dark chocolate chips too)
  10. Washed and cut veggies with a dip (eg: hummus) or spread (eg: peanut or other nut butter)*
    • Veggies: whatever is in season/on sale/you like. Some examples are carrot, celery, broccoli, sugar snap peas, snow peas, cucumber, capsicum
  11. Whole grain crackers
    • Compare the fiber content and look for high fiber, minimal ingredients, no sugar or high fructose corn syrup
    • Many contain seeds and nuts which improve the fatty acid profile and increase fiber!
  12. Using spreads where ever possible (on crackers, as dips)
    • Ideas include nut butters, smashed fruit, avocado, hummus, tahini
  13. Yogurt (unflavored) with your own toppings
    • Fruit, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon (just to name a few)

* Ensure you quarter/halve round foods like grapes, or serve in a textually appropriate way (shredded, steamed for hard fruits and veg like apple and carrots), nuts are choking hazards for kids <4 – serve these crushed or slivered (once kids can chew)

If you’re wondering how to keep some of these snacks cold, here are some cold bags that I love and use all the times!

Things to remember:

  • Sometimes, feeling hungry is actually feeling thirsty
    • Stay hydrated throughout the day
    • Drink some water before you snack/eat
  • The key here is planning
    • Spend 3 minutes prepping your snack
    • Your wallet and your child will thank you (just kidding, your child won’t!)

If you’re ready to get into the Mini Meals Mindset at snack time, sign up below for my Snack Staples List and join my NIFTY community (NIFTY = Nutrition Info + Feeding Tips for You!)


Thalia

Hi, I'm Thalia the Dietitian. I help parents raise healthy, intuitive eaters and foster healthy food relationships with their children. I'm an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist. I teach nutrition to college students, author higher education materials to accompany textbooks that engages students, and I'm mum to two little ladies (and a retired guide dog lab.)

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