Children are growing and physically active; they need 2-3 nutritious snacks each day between meals to meet their energy requirement. Like meals, the snacks should also be healthy and should be given on a regular schedule. Nutritious snacks are important for satisfactory intake of nutrients and calories. Some snacks which are healthy and nutritious are:
- Fresh fruit salad and juices, vegetable salads, juices and soup; these are rich in fiber, while vitamins and minerals are low in fat, and have no added sugar.
- Fresh fruit, such as apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, mango, etc.
- Dry fruits, such as raisins, almonds, kaju and pistas are considered sticky foods, but they stick to teeth and increase the risk of cavities; after he eats let him brush and floss.
- Home-made milk shakes, low-fat cheese and yogurt
- Whole grain snacks, such as brown bread sandwiches, breakfast cereals, crackers, cereal bars, baked potatoes and popcorn (without added butter).
- Avoid unhealthy snacks like cookies, chips, candy, doughnuts, fruit drinks and soda, these can be given as an occasional treat.
If snacks spoil his appetite for lunch or dinner, avoid them. Snacks should provide about 100 to 150 calories per servings. Don’t allow him to eat snacks at bedtime.