Snacks for energy, and learning to make ‘healthier’ choices
At 2 ½ years, children still need plenty of energy - they are still growing, developing and learning. During this stage, offering plenty of different textures, tastes and flavours is important to encourage your little one to enjoy a wide range of foods.
Sticking to a routine with 3 regular mealtimes and 2-3 snacks in-between can help stop children grazing on foods throughout the day and eating too much. It is tempting to restrict snack choices for young children, but this can backfire. Children who are “forbidden” to eat what they see as desirable foods, may be more likely over indulge when these foods are freely available, for example at parties.
It’s not just you that influences snack choices
Pre-schoolers can use food choice (or refusal!) to exert their independence. Their choices are influenced by many things
What they see you and the rest of the family eating
Experiencing what other children are eating at nursery, playschool, play dates and parties
Other carers, like grandparents or child minders, feeding them
What they see advertised on TV or online
Brands with fun packaging shapes and tastes that they enjoy.
Portion control is important to avoid adult-sized snacks being eaten
Kiddylicious has healthier swaps for crisps, biscuits and sweets in perfect portion-controlled packs, specially created for young children, keeping parents and kids happy.
Fussy children who aren’t eating much at mealtimes can top up on energy and nutrients at snack times in-between meals
Between 2 and 4 years it’s fairly normal for many children to become wary of trying new food, and they may even reject food they have eaten up to now. ‘Fussy eating’ can be a difficult time for parents, but it’s important to be patient and keep offering a foods that are rejected. It’s been shown that children will eventually accept foods. Each child is different but it can take between 7 and 15 attempts.