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3 Fun and healthy snack ideas for kids

From 6 months old, you begin introducing solid foods to your kids’ diets. Although they only eat small portions, now is the time to set the tone for a healthy long term diet. A way to keep their diet balanced without overwhelming them with too much food, is by offering them a regular snack.

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

If your baby is sitting on their own and can grasp and hold onto food, a fun way to introduce them to solids is finger foods. Parents may be nervous of their kids choking. If you make the right choice of snack for their age and stage of development, they should be fine. As with all kids, never leave them alone with food and introduce one new food at a time to monitor for allergic reaction. Your paediatrician can offer further advice on which foods to begin with and which to be careful of.

 

Try these fun and healthy snack ideas and let us know how it goes!

 

Fun-time fruit salad

Fruit is so versatile, it is a convenient snack and most kids love it. It is full of vitamins, carbohydrates, calcium, fiber, potassium, folates, and much more. Choose the right fruit for your baby's development. Cut the fruit into long wedges, "chip" shaped works well, that are easy for baby to grasp and hold. Soft fruit favourites include whole small bananas and wedges of avocado. These are soft enough for a baby with no teeth to gum into squashed safe pieces. You can cook other fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches and pears, until they are soft enough to press between your fingers.

 

Your kids will have so much fun squashing and experimenting with the new textures, tastes and smells in the early days. Once they are a little older, from around 8 months, and have started eating more confidently, fruits can be left in their raw state. Keep the pieces big and easy to hold. You can add blueberries and grapes (cut in half lengthwise until they are around age 5).

 

The advice is to try to keep the variety of fruit wide, as a guide, think of a rainbow. This opens the opportunity to have some real fun! After 10 months, you can cut a variety of coloured and textured fruits and use them to create pictures or scenes. Picture a tree. The banana as a trunk, sliced kiwi fruit as leaves, blueberries as flowers. A peach sliced to resemble the sun. Your little one can learn to create these scenes and will probably enjoy eating it just as much!

 

It's alive!

Food is always more fun when it looks like it could leap off the plate! From vegetables to protein, there are ways to bring a healthy snack to life! Use your imagination and be creative. Pinterest is an endless source of inspiration!

 

Green, red and yellow peppers make excellent toads! Simply clean out the insides as always and leave half the shell intact. Cut two wide curved "legs" at the front and two curved "frog legs" at the back. You can serve this colorful fun snack raw or grilled.

 

All kids love viennas. Giving a vienna a bit of life is easy enough! Keep one half of the vienna intact. Slice the lower half lengthwise. Boil a few of them for a short time until the sliced sections curl up. Add eyes using a toothpick or sauce. Add spaghetti as seaweed or shell shaped pasta as sea shells for your cute little octopi!

 

Little Dipper

An important aspect of eating is refining fine motor skills. This is why, for littler kids, introducing finger foods adds value over spoon feeding. It begins with practicing bringing the food from the table or plate to their mouths. Add a step, and a bit of fun, by including nutritional dipping! Your kids will love trying to co-ordinate a dip. This will also add new textures and tastes to their snack.

 

Make a homemade tomato sauce or a fruit chutney for sweet potato or butternut chips. After age one, let them try to dip healthy toast soldiers into the yolk of a soft boiled egg. Also after age one, let them try to dip raw broccoli into honey!

 

Variety is important, balance is important, and most of all, making it fun is important!

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