Seems Gerber is the preferred choice in our family when it comes to feeding snacks to our kids. My sister was visiting me some time back from abroad and along with her toddler came a bagful of Gerber readymade fruit/veggie purees and snacks as a backup food option . When I told her that Gerber is now available in India too, she was surprised and delighted at the same time.
The sight of her toddler enjoying the healthy snack treats , transported me back to the time when I was struggling with my fussy eater to feed her nutritious , wholesome snacks in between the meals.
The thing with toddlers is they like variety in terms of flavours, shapes and textures. Mums often find it hard to tick all these parameters every day, more so because we want every single snack wholesome and full of nutrition ( which is humanly impossible to prepare each time).
One of my friends introduced me to Gerber, and since then I had been a huge fan of Gerber baby foods and would always recommend it to mums to meet their kid’s early childhood nutrition.
Importance of healthy snacks .
Healthy and nutritious snacks help manage a toddler’s hunger and keep his energy level steady throughout the day. It also ensures that your baby’s daily calorie requirement is compensated in case s/he misses meals.
Ideally a snack with the goodness of whole grains and proteins is recommended to not only keep a toddler hunger at bay but also provide him with vital nutrients to help them grow. Growing up with the habit of eating healthy snacks will also ensure that your child won’t binge eat on salty/sugary snacks as he grows up.
So what really constitute essential nutrients in snacks:
- Carbohydrate: A primary nutrient which provides energy for growth and physical activity. It becomes all the more important that the snacks should have a good amount of carbohydrate , in case a toddler does not get the required amount from the main meal.
- Proteins: For toddlers, on an average the amount of 13 grams proteins is required every day, which they usually get from their diet. Experts says that extra protein is unnecessary for toddlers; and it was for this reason I served Gerber fruit/veggie based puree to my kid as it contains just 1gram protein per 113 gram jar.
- Calcium: Calcium is required for building strong bones, muscles and teeth. And snacks like Gerber animal crackers provide apt Calcium.
- Potassium : An important mineral required for normal body growth. Snack time can be used to provide this essential mineral to a toddler.
- Fat: Fat is fuel for the body and the best way to provide this fuel is through meals. One of the best features I like about Gerber is that it does not contain any unnecessary fats in its snacks.
- Sodium: The primary function of sodium is to maintain the right amount of water in our body. It also plays a prominent role in nerve and muscle function. However, too much sodium is also harmful to your child. Gerber snacks provides the adequate amount of sodium to your toddler’s body
Here’s some more Snacks idea for your toddler:
- Multi grain cereal with milk
- Milkshake or Yogurt fruit smoothies
- Wholegrain Crackers/ Cookies
- Bite sized cooked vegetables
- Pureed fruits/Vegetables
- Baked flavoured Rice/Corn puffs
- Applesauce with small cubes of cheese
- Whole grain muffin
- Mashed avocado on a toast
- Yogurt and fruit popsicles
- Subtle Spice / herb based snacks
Now mums will agree with me when I say how much it’s a struggle to whip out nutritious snacks every day , along with contemplating on a toddlers meal too. You can check out Gerber’s wide range of health snacks specially made for kids, which can prove to be a healthy option for you to feed your kids. And since they are packaged in easy to carry canisters, it’s very convenient to carry them in the car or park.
For each stage, from Crawler to Toddler Gerber’s snacks and nutritional products meet the developmental needs of your child.
How much snacks is too much?
Do you know that you can actually use snacks as a means to increase your toddler’s appetite. So if you offer small bite sized food items after every two hours , it helps boost their digestive system enough to make them feel hungry.
Make sure you offer small bite sizes to build their metabolism slowly and steadily; other tips which might work in working up their appetite includes : avoiding oily foods, using appetising spices like cinnamon, oregano etc, serving yogurt or yogurt based snacks as it has probiotics which works wonders for appetite.
Any more tips moms wants to share; I am all ears☺