Miracle Snack

Imagine this scene: Your toddler happily snacks on cheese, fruit and oatmeal, and asks for broccoli. Are you interested in knowing how this happened?

Savvy moms reveal their snack secrets below:

  • Palate training: Toddlers’ eating preferences are a blank canvas. With planning, tastes can be trained to prefer fruits, veggies and cheese. The trick is to expose toddlers only to the foods you want them to eat. Persistence, patience and repetition are key.

After three years, eating habits are mostly set and toddlers are likely to continue
enjoying the foods you offered in their early years.

  • Monkey see, monkey do: Toddlers are great imitators. Moms who enjoy fruits, veggies and cheese with their toddlers inspire them to like those foods.

Tip: Only purchase foods you want your child to eat.

Toddler-friendly snacks ideas:

    • Bite-sized fruit (Try frozen fruit when the weather is hot.)
    • Instant oatmeal (Time saver: Refrigerate prepared oatmeal for quick microwave snacks later. Milk and raisins make it extra special.)
    • Cottage cheese (Peach slices make it pretty and tasty.)
    • Yogurt (Buy individual cups for easy snacking.)
    • Cheese sticks (Easy pack-and-go snack.)
    • Water (Fancy straws and floating fruit make it special.)
    • Peanut butter, celery and raisins (“Ants on a log” are toddler favorites.)
    • Apples smeared with peanut butter
    • Leftover vegetables like broccoli “trees” (Dips make them fun.)
    • Trail mix

Snack instead of graze. Some toddlers graze all day, eating small amounts of food from sunrise to sunset. They continually ask or reach for food and beverages. Toddlers graze because of habit, boredom or entertainment, not always hunger. Grazing can lead to extra calories and weight issues.

Snacking is different than grazing. Snacks are planned and often enjoyed while seated for a short amount of time. Best snacks tend to be mini-meals of veggie sticks, fruit or oatmeal rather than grab-and-go chips or candy.

Best toddler snack times: Toddler tummies are tiny, about the size of their clenched fist, so eating planned snacks helps stop hunger. Offer snacks two to three times a day between meals. Experts recommend snacks be scheduled a few hours before or after meals, so you never have to say, “Do not eat that. It will spoil your appetite."

Feel proud, not guilty. Moms want toddlers’ childhoods to be filled with good memories. Snack time is a great time to talk to your child and make amazing memories.

Toddlers like to play hard, and snack often. Moms like to help toddlers become “miracle” snackers. Win-win. Which of these tips will you try this week?

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