Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
No one’s busier than the average preschooler. Preschoolers are so active and imaginative, it’s no wonder they get hungry between meals and need a snack.
Although growth during the preschool years is slower compared with that of the first 2 years of life, preschool kids still need to eat a balanced diet that includes whole grains, lean meat, beans, low-fat milk, fruits, and vegetables.
That’s sometimes easier said than done. Some preschoolers don’t eat well at mealtime. Others might be willing to eat, but only certain foods. This can leave nutritional gaps in a child’s diet. Healthy and well-timed snacks can help fill in these gaps. They also can keep kids from getting overly hungry and cranky.
So how do you turn preschoolers into smart snackers?
Preschoolers are anything but boring, so why should their snacks be? Being creative when it comes to expanding the snack menu doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.
Here are a few action-snack suggestions to get you started:
Cut it! Use a cookie cutter to cut cheese, veggies, and sandwiches into fun, irresistible shapes.
Dip it! Pair slices of fruit, veggies, or whole-wheat crackers with a side of dip. Whether it’s peanut butter, low-fat ranch dressing, guacamole, salsa, applesauce, or yogurt, everyone loves to dip.
Create it! Make art out of food. Try apple-wedge flower petals around a kiwi slice for some flower art. Or maybe fun food faces with berry eyes and a banana mouth.
Sip it! Who says you have to eat a healthy snack? Fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt or milk and fresh fruit are a great way for kids to drink up needed nutrients.
Crunch it! Low-fat granola and lower-sugar, whole-grain breakfast cereals are good choices. Also try toasted whole-wheat pita wedges for a satisfying crunch without the salt and fat of potato chips.
Play it! Turn healthy snacking into a game. For example, try making a “food rainbow” on a plate and let your child decide which colors to eat first. Next time, you can do the same with different shapes. Which will it be — squares or triangles?
If the right foods are offered at the right times, snacks can play an important role in managing kids’ hunger and boosting nutrition.
During the preschool years, kids are more willing to cooperate. So it’s a great time to teach them about healthy food choices in new and exciting ways.
Here are 10 simple tips to help you raise kids who develop healthy eating habits!
Preschoolers have a lot of energy, and the physical skills and coordination to ride a tricycle or chase a butterfly.
Your preschooler eats lunch, then 20 minutes later claims to be hungry. Is a snack OK? Maybe yes, maybe no. Here’s why.
A preschooler’s desire to move, move, move makes this a great time to encourage fitness habits that can last a lifetime.
Some toddlers may seem too busy exploring to slow down and eat. Others may be fickle about food or refuse to eat at mealtime. That’s where healthy, well-timed snacks come in.
If your kids come in from school and head straight for the kitchen for something to eat, here’s how to make sure they still have room for a healthy dinner.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.