Healthy snacks help manage kids' hunger and boost nutrition. Snacks can keep them from getting so hungry that they get cranky. Snacks may help prevent overeating at meals. And for picky eaters of all ages, snacks are a chance to add more nutrients to their diets.
The best snacks are low in sugar, fat, and salt. Fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein foods are good choices. An occasional treat is fine, but serve healthy snacks most of the time.
It's not just about what you offer as a snack — it's how much you serve and when. Keep portions snack-sized and schedule regular snack times. Kids who graze all day long often eat too many calories and have a hard time figuring out when they're hungry or full.
Check out these articles to learn more about smart snacking as your child grows: