Healthy Snacks

  • small sandwiches cut into interesting shapes and arranged on the plate to make a picture or pattern
  • yoghurt in a bowl with added chunks of fresh fruit
  • chunks of water melon, seedless grapes, avocado
  • cheese and crackers with pieces of fruit (a mixture of colours and textures makes it more interesting)
  • sticks of raw vegetables in a picture or pattern, with some dip or peanut butter
  • small muffin or cake
  • water to drink.

Preventing Excessive Weight Gain

As with adults, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children who are overweight. Sadly, overweight children are more likely to have health problems both as a child and as an adult. There is a difficult balance to strike between ensuring your child obtains enough energy and essential building blocks for growth and development, without the extra calories/kilojoules, which are stored as fat. Children need foods rich in nutrients as well as energy, not those offering high amounts of calories with little else.

Tips for ensuring your child maintains a healthy weight:

  • encourage your child to decide how much they eat, with you making the choice of the food offered. Focus on the foods they can eat rather than foods not to eat
  • children need some fat in their diets for energy and growth but it is important not to offer too many fat laden foods if they are only providing extra calories –  cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate. The same goes for sugar
  • eat meals as a family and lead by example. Parents can show healthy eating is enjoyable
  • offer a nutritious snack between meals – fruit, vegetables, whole grain bread sandwiches
  • provide safe places for play and exercise
  • have regular opportunities and encouragement for running and playing
  • limit TV, video and computer time. Learning is important, but so too is being active
  • if you are worried about your child’s appetite, eating pattern or weight, talk to your health professional.

Toddlers need lots of small meals and healthy snacks.

Cut up foods that are firm and round and can get stuck in your child’s airway such as:

  • sausages – always cut sausages length-wise and then into small pieces
  • grapes – cut them into quarters
  • raw vegetables – cut them into small strips or pieces that are not round.

 

[important]Other foods that can pose a choking hazard include:

  • hard or sticky lollies/sweets, like whole peppermints or caramels
  • nuts and seeds (don’t give peanuts to children under age 7 years)
  • popcorn
  • spoonfuls of peanut butter.[/important]

Limit TV, DVD and Computer time. Encourage physical activity and outdoor play.