Keep junior’s energy up with healthy snacks!

Your active tot is always on the move, so give her nourishing nibbles between meals to meet her nutritional needs.

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Your mini-explorer is always on the go. So, even though she eats three meals a day, her still-small stomach and fast metabolism means that she’ll need to refuel frequently with well-chosen bites.

Snacks often get a bad rap, but that’s because salt-, sugar- and fat-filled munchies like crisps and soft drinks are often chosen. However, nutritious snacks like fruits and nuts aren’t only essential, these will benefit your tot. So, here are tasty ways to add nutritional goodness to your munchkin’s diet.

Cheese
Cheese is a good way to up your peewee’s calcium and protein intake. Offer her cheese sticks or cheese cubes, which are easy to take along to play dates or on an outing with the family. Choose varieties that are low in salt.

Yoghurt
Your little one won’t be able to resist a cup of yoghurt on a sweltering day. This dairy delight is packed with calcium and phosphorus, which contribute to bone and tooth growth. It may also contain probiotics that helps regulate her digestive system. For an added boost, throw in some cut fruit.

Yoghurt is packed with calcium and phosphorus, which contributes to bone and tooth growth.

Veggie sticks with dip
Drizzle some olive oil over sticks of carrot, pumpkin or sweet potato (all of which have lots of Vitamin A that is good for junior’s eyes, skin and immune system), and bake these in an oven for 30 to 40 minutes ― turn over after 20 minutes to prevent them from burning― till cooked through. Or steam some apples, then blend to make a quick apple sauce. To increase her fibre intake for digestive health, cut cucumber or celery into sticks, and let her dip these in yoghurt.

Blueberries
As little ones adore blueberries, it’s easy to pack the sweet and tasty fruit as a snack for an outing. These berries contain loads of iron and zinc, for normal cell division and maintenance of normal bones respectively. Packed with antioxidants, blueberries also help protect cells in the body.
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Eggs
One of the best superfoods for your tot, eggs contain lots of protein, as well as vitamin D, which helps your kiddo absorb calcium. Always have a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, or whip up a quick omelette when those hunger pangs strike.

Apples
Crisp, juicy and sweet, apples are high in fibre, vitamin C, and polyphenols, which boast antioxidant properties. Besides promoting heart and digestive health, these are known to help combat asthma. Dice, then include them in wholegrain muffins for a quick and nutritious snack.

Nuts
If your tot isn’t prone to allergies, nuts make a good snack, since they feature healthy fats, which are important for growth and development. They’ll also give your child a much needed energy boost in the middle of the day to keep her going. Almonds, for instance, also contain calcium to build strong bones, and vitamin E to improve the condition of skin.

The potassium in bananas will neutralise the sodium in your child’s diet.

Bananas
The carbohydrates in bananas won’t just give your child an instant energy boost, the fibre will also help her feel full for a longer period, so you’ll hear fewer “I’m hungry!” whines. Rich in potassium, vitamins C and B6, bananas will neutralise the sodium in your child’s diet, as well as boost her brain power and help her muscles move well. Thanks to serotonin, it’s known to immediately relax and elevate your child’s mood, so it’s good to have this goodie handy when junior fusses.

Cereal with milk
A bowl of whole-grain fibre-rich cereal is a power-packed snack. Instead of the sugary kind, pick one that’s enriched with vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. Serve it with a formula milk packed with essential nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D, which are vital to his physical growth and mental development.

Photos: iStock

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