(NaturalNews) A key factor in feeding toddlers healthy snacks and avoiding tantrums is to be organized. Toddlers are typically not very patient when they are hungry so preempt this stage by packing, in advance, some healthy snacks which can grabbed at a moment`s notice. It is vital to get children to enjoy fruit and vegetables at an early age. So many parents and well meaning friends think they are giving a child a treat by handing them a candy bar or packet of potato crisps. If this is done on a regular basis, a child will certainly learn bad eating habits.
Toddlers really snack all day, the idea of three square meals per day is impractical for this age group. They have very small tummies and fill up quickly. Don`t be tempted to buy manufactured toddler foods such as animal crackers, sweetened yogurt, cookies etc. These contain transfats, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and additives. Even certain products that claim to be made from all natural ingredients can still contain flavor and color enhancers. Try these easy and healthy toddler food ideas:
Quickest Ever Bite Sized Snacks for Toddlers
Dried fruit including: raisins, apricots, peaches, apples, pineapple, mango, pears, figs, prunes. Look for natural, sun-dried, preservative-free dried fruit.
Fresh fruit and vegetables of all kinds. Some parents keep a bowl of sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes and of sliced fruit such as bananas within reach, so the child can grab a handful every time he/she comes past. A dip can be kept on hand, such as all natural nut butter or plain, unsweetened yogurt, to dip the vegetables into. At all times, keep a careful watch on toddlers as they can choke easily and do not allow the child to run around while eating.
Simple Recipes for Toddlers:
Sticky Energy Balls:
1/4 cup finely grated organic carrots 1/4 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup wheat germ 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 1 tablespoon raw honey 3 tablespoons natural peanut or nut butter
Mix together and roll into balls. Store in the fridge for a quick treat.
Quick Vegetable Recipes:
Boil sweet potatoes and carrots together until soft. Puree along with a little butter and cheese.
Steam broccoli florets until soft and blend with tomatoes. Add a spoon of ground almonds.
Mashed avocado on slice of wholegrain bread makes a wonderful meal for a toddler.
Toddlers under two should still be breastfeeding. Children can become dehydrated more easily than adults though, so offer water between meals or a little freshly made fruit or vegetable juice.
Tips for Feeding Toddlers
Make up snacks yourself to control quality and contents. Usually, there is not a wide variety of healthy choices available at convenience stores or fast food restaurants.
Strive to maintain a balance of carbohydrates, good fats, protein and fiber when feeding toddlers. This will keep the child`s blood sugar level stable which will mean a happier and healthier child.
Keep a stash of healthy snacks in the cupboard, such as preservative free homemade oat cookies so as to avoid rushing to the store to buy pre-packaged, unhealthy foods.
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.