It is important for toddlers and 2-year-old children to eat nutritious food so they grow healthy and strong. Children at this age should eat three meals a day, but between those meals, they should have snacks to keep up their energy. Most children at this age eat two to three snacks per day, and they should be healthy snacks instead of junk food.
Serve your toddler fresh fruit as a healthy snack that satisfies his craving for sweets. Apples, bananas and strawberries make good snacks for young eaters and can help your child get his daily intake of necessary fruits. Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces so your toddler can easily handle them. Serve the fruit slices with a cup of yogurt for dipping, or blend fruit and yogurt together for a healthy kid-approved smoothie.
Pick up whole grain snacks for your toddler to aid in her digestion. Whole grain snacks include both savory table crackers and sweet graham crackers. You can also give your child whole grain treats like muffins every now and then. Unsweetened cereal without milk is a good snack that your toddler can easily pick up and snack on. Serve whole wheat bread or toast with a smear of peanut butter for a serving of both grains and protein.
Fresh or cooked vegetables are a good way to help your toddler get his essential vitamins and develop a taste for healthy eating. Cut up vegetables such as carrots, celery, bell peppers and tomatoes for easy snacking. If your child is lukewarm to eating vegetables, arrange the vegetables on a plate in a fun shape, like a face, to encourage him. Serve a dip on the side; choose a healthy option such as hummus.
Give your toddler her daily dose of calcium with dairy product snacks such as yogurt or cheese. Cut cheese slices into fun shapes using cookie cutters or let your toddler play with her food by helping her shred pieces of string cheese. If your toddler is good with a spoon, you can serve cottage cheese, either on its own or with some fruit mixed in. Yogurt is a good snack for a toddler and you can buy drinkable yogurt that comes in tubes, so your toddler can eat it without a spoon.
References and ResourcesBabyCenter: How to Get Your Toddler to Eat More Healthy Food
KidsHealth: Snacks for Toddlers
KidsHealth: Nutrition Guide for Toddlers