Nutritious Finger Foods Toddlers Love
It's a familiar scene for most moms: You spend time cooking a nutritious (and you hope, delicious) meal for your toddler and she eats a few bites and takes off to play or nap. She's healthy, happy and active, so you may wonder why she doesn't seem to be eating much at mealtime. Don't kids know how to sit down and eat a meal? The simple answer is "not really."Most toddlers prefer to nibble throughout the day, and don't have the stomach capacity or attention span to sit down and finish a plateful of food. That's not to say you shouldn't encourage your little ones to take part in family meals and try new foods, but you should also be sure to provide them with plenty of healthy snacks. Snacks are a large and important part of the toddler diet. They're small, easy-to-digest portions that provide energy for all the growing, learning, and exercising toddlers do each day. Snack time is also a great time to offer fun versions of healthy foods your toddler might otherwise turn up their nose at. The key is serving the right snacks.
As with anything involving our kids, the first consideration for snack food is safety. Your toddler has done a lot of growing and maturing lately, and she may think she can take on the world, but you still need to take some precautions when it comes to certain foods. Make sure food is cut into manageable pieces. Avoid nuts, popcorn, whole grapes, and any other snack that could be potential choking hazards. Also, it's a good idea to remind your child not to eat while laughing, running, or talking. You've probably relaxed a bit about possible food allergies after the baby stage ended, but it's a good idea to take the usual precautions when introducing a toddler to a new food.
There's no magic formula for the perfect snack, but there are some guidelines to follow to help keep snacks healthy and fun.