The makers of snack foods know which people in the family to gear their advertising toward —the children of course! As a parent, it is getting harder to get kids interested in fresh fruit and vegetables when their eyes are drawn to all the colorful packaging of sugar-sweetened cereals, sodas, cookies, and snack cakes.
Try to teach your kids that foods shouldn't be looked upon as "good" or "bad.” All foods, even sweets or higher fat snacks can sometimes fit into a healthy diet. The most practical approach is not to include these less healthy snack foods on your grocery list. It is fine to go out for an ice cream, a soda, or buy individual-sized chips or candy when you feel it is time for a treat. This shows children that these foods are acceptable, but not to be eaten in unlimited amounts. The sooner this approach is taken, the easier your job will be in getting your children to eat healthier, even at snack time.
Healthy snacks include foods that are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, saturated fat, and calories:
At 8 months old to 1 year, your child will be able eat small portions of the some of the snacks listed above. If you have a baby or toddler, cow's milk, egg whites, and citrus fruits should not be given to children under 1 year of age. You should not allow nuts until your child is at least 2 years old. Always supervise your baby or toddler while eating to avoid choking. "Choke foods" include raisins, cranberries, grapes, chunks of carrot, nuts, seeds, chunks of peanut butter, hard candies, hotdog pieces, and popcorn. When in doubt, chop it or wait until your child is older. The danger of choking on these types of foods remains high until age 4.