Healthy snacks for babies are a top priority for any caring mum, apart from snacks, anything that is to be consumed by your child should be carefully prepared and ensured it is healthy for the baby’s consumption.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top healthy snacks for babies and toddlers as well as their health benefits.
What Are Healthy Snacks For Babies And Toddlers?
Speaking of healthy snacks for babies, all types of baby snacks can be categorized into two categories: homemade snacks and commercial snacks. Each type of snack has advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss.
Although many parents prefer homemade snacks, it can be difficult to manage the level of hazardous and potentially harmful substances in such snacks. This is due to the fact that foods prepared at home may be subjected to different safety and quality requirements than commercial infant foods.
Of course, in order to produce nutritious snacks that provide nutrients from core food groups, parents must spend a significant amount of time researching meals and preparing food.
Preparing for children without teeth is time-consuming because you must pay close attention to the texture of the meal.
Commercial baby foods (which parents can order online or purchase in a store) are subjected to tight quality controls at all times, and a team of professionals often works on their preparation to ensure that the quality of the snacks is exceedingly high.
For convenience and quality assurance, most parents combine commercial and homemade snacks.
Best Snack Time For Toddlers
Depending on the toddler’s age and eating habits, it’d be nice to organize refuelling pitstops in between structured meals.
Of course, the best spot for such a snack break with an apple or puffs is in the kitchen to let your youngster associate it with eating. To avoid confusion regarding planned meals vs snacks, keep these pitstops brief.
Furthermore, it is critical for young eaters to be seated upright and in a supported position. This is because such positions gives the required safety and comfort.
Top 10 Healthy Snacks For Babies And Toddlers
1. Nut Butter
To receive the benefits of these healthy fats, choose plain almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter. Spread it thinly on toast, then cut it into little sticks for your infant. Fat is such an important nutrient in the first two years of life. 50% of your baby’s energy should come from fat. This is because their brain develops so quickly and relies on fat for fuel and growth.
Toddlers can enjoy hummus with whole grain pretzels or thinly sliced veggies, but babies can enjoy a fibre-rich snack with steamed carrots. Hummus is a rich source of protein, zinc, fibre, and B-vitamin which are all necessary
3. Cheese Sticks
These easy snacks are high in protein, which is necessary for your child’s growth. Protein serves as the building blocks of the body and aids in the growth of body tissues and muscles.
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Cheese sticks are a choking hazard for new eaters, so they’re best reserved for older babies; cut the cheese apart before feeding.
This superfood is high in minerals and good fats, which will help your baby’s development. Its mild flavour is great for her sensitive taste buds. Make sure the avocado is ripe and mushy before mashing it and spoon-feed it to your infant. You can also slice it into finger-sized bits.
5. Dry Cereal
Dry, sugar-free cereal like cornflakes is fun for your baby to grab and dig into, and is ideal for perfecting that pincer grip. A great snack to keep her peaceful in the pushchair while you’re off and about!
6. Rice Cakes
These are wonderful for encouraging self-feeding because they are easy to hold, unlikely to cause allergies, and relatively mess-free. Buy infant brands or plain adult rice cakes, as some flavoured adult rice cakes contain a lot of salt and artificial flavours.
7. Sweet Potato
This is a sweet and healthful snack for young babies when cooked and chopped into thin strips like French fries.
Help your child achieve their iron requirements by serving thinly sliced turkey with cheese.
9. Baked Oatmeal Bites
They are perfect for weaning babies. It is an excellent first food since it is easy to digest and high in nutrients that newborns require to develop and thrive, such as iron, zinc, fibre, and calcium.
10. Banana (Soft and Ripe)
Cut a small banana into fist-sized chunks or slices. This colourful and nutritious fruit will satisfy your baby’s sweet tooth, and she’ll be able to chew it effortlessly with her gums.
Healthy Snack Ideas For Babies
- At each snack, aim to provide two foods or more from various food categories so that baby gets a variety of nutrients.
- To help the baby feel satisfied, include fat or protein in at least one of the foods.
- If food appears to be too slick for baby to pick up or they are having difficulty eating it, place it on a utensil, chop it differently, or otherwise assist them in eating the food.
- Avoid offering meals or snacks when the baby is weary or specifically hungry for milk feedings. It takes a while for them to associate solid food as a way to fulfil hunger, so be patient with that learning process.
- Begin with tiny servings to reduce food waste and gradually increase to meet the needs of your infant.
- It can take time for kids to learn to appreciate a variety of foods, so serve a variety of foods throughout the week.
- Try foods they’ve not eaten before (make sure it’s easy to eat and taste good) so they can learn to like them.
- Maintain a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere during meals, rather than pressuring the baby to consume a set amount of food.
- Sit with the baby as much as possible and model feeding so they have someone to look up to.
Unhealthy Snacks For Babies That Should Be Avoided
Depending on your baby’s age, different foods can be hazardous to his or her health. According to the CDC, it is critical to avoid the following foods and drinks in your infant’s diet before the age of 12 months.
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- Caffeinated drinks.
- 100% pure juice.
- Sugar-sweetened cow’s milk drinks.
- Foods with high salt concentration.
- Foods containing added sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions About Healthy Snacks For Babies
According to the NHS, your baby may require two snacks each day after the age of one year.
Citrus. For the first few months, avoid giving your baby citrus fruits and liquids. These meals are high in vitamin C and acid, which might cause your infant to have an upset stomach and/or acid reflux. Keep in mind that their digestive system is still developing.
Fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, and Swiss cheese are the finest cheeses for kids because they are naturally low in sodium (salt).
Conclusion on Healthy Snacks For Babies
Nutritious and healthy snacks for babies are not only a terrific method to develop healthy eating habits, but they may also be an effective technique for introducing your child to new solid foods!
It is critical that you visit your paediatrician before starting your infant on solid foods. When you have your doctor’s “OK”, constantly observe your child when offering homemade or store-bought snacks!
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