Children love snacks! Which snacks are best to give children as afternoon snacks?

2018.02.09

Some parents avoid giving their child afternoon snacks because they are worried about their nutritional balance and don’t want them to gain weight. However, for young children, the afternoon snack is important for giving them a needed energy boost to last for the rest of the afternoon. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of snacks and how parents can choose what to feed their child for the afternoon snack.

Children love snacks! Which snacks are best to give children as afternoon snacks?

Two benefits of snacks are “their nutritional support” and “their ability to make children happy”

Parents worry about their children not having an appetite for dinner or consuming too much sugar and fat but snacks are important for children.

Until a child turns 3 years old, his/her digestive system is immature and they sometimes don’t eat when they are fed, which makes it difficult to intake all the required nutrients
from 3 meals a day. As a result, it is important for parents to give their children snacks to ensure they receive the required amount of nutrients daily.

After 3 years old, children are more active and many times 3 meals a day do not provide
enough energy for them to accomplish their daily activities so snacks are still important. Snack time is also important because it is allows children to communicate with each other
and relax.

For this reason, it is recommended that parents give children under 3 snacks for their
nutritional value and children over 3 snacks to give them more energy and time to
commmunicate with their friends. However, it is important for parents to choose snacks that are healthy and that do not affect their child’s appetite for dinner.

Some points to keep in mind when giving your child snacks

1.Set the time
If children get in the habit of eating slowly or playing as they eat, they are more likely to develop bad eating habits that they will take with them as they grow to adults.
Therefore, it is important that parents decide the snack time and stick to it. Parents
should also make sure that snack time is only set for 20-30 minutes each day.

2.What amount of calories is best?
For children between the age of 3yrs old and 6yrs old, 140kcal – 240kcal is OK.
For elementary school children and up, the calories should help them last until
dinner time so 15%-20% of a main meal’s calories, 200kcal-300kcal is fine.

3.What kind of snacks are best?
From a nutritious standpoint, it is best to incorporate seasonal foods.
Snacks are used to help restore needed nutrients and energy so dairy, beans and
fruits are always good choices. It is not necessary to stick to home-made snacks
but when you give your children store-bought snacks make sure to take a look at the
nutrition information.

4.What types of snacks should parents avoid
Parents should avoid snacks that are too salty, sweet or spicy for their toddlers.
Eating too many of these snacks may lead to obesity and cavities.
Store-bought snacks and sweets tend to have a lot of calories so it is important
to eat them in moderation.

5.Parents should show their children how to have good manners when eating
Snacktime is a great time for children to learn about good manners. If parents check
their cell phone or watch TV when they are eating their children will want to copy
them. Make sure to take the time to sit across from each other and have a
conversation without other distractions.

Cooking snacks together is a great way to learn about nutrition

Nutrition is the study of food and good eating habits. Making homemade snacks from
hot cake mix is a great way to spend time together and learn about cooking and
nutrition. Homemade snacks also have less additives so they are healthier.

Children often need to snacks for added nutrients and energy, so parents should try to
avoid relying on store bought snacks and pay attention to the nutrients and calories in
the snacks they give their children. Also snack time is relaxation time for children so
parents should make the time to communicate and pay attention to their children during
snack time.

Children love snacks! Which snacks are best to give children as afternoon snacks?
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