Healthy Kids, Healthy Snacks

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Sometimes it seems like as soon as your little ones have finished breakfast, they're begging for something else to eat. And it's the same thing after lunch, mid-afternoon, early evening, when you're out running errands, etc., etc. Does this snacking cycle ever end? The real answer: Not really. In fact, as they get older and their appetites grow, your kids will want even more (and bigger) snacks. However, snacking is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, small, healthy between-meal munchies are great for helping to fuel children's growth and development. Besides, snacking serves another very good purpose: Anyone who's ever been near a hungry toddler knows that it's not a pretty sight.

Smart Snacking

Of course, that mythical "healthy snack" is often easier talked about than actually eaten. We'd all love to live in that magical fantasy world where two-year-olds sit calmly and quietly enjoying their celery sticks and broccoli florets in between sips of skim milk. But the reality is that those between-meal hunger pangs often strike when you're on the go, in the car, at the store or otherwise busy, and the easy thing to do is grab a cookie or some chips just to calm everybody down. This might solve the immediate problem, but it won't actually satisfy a hungry kid for long -- and it definitely won't provide many healthy nutrients.

Because kids get up to one third of their daily calories from snacks, it's important that they supplement and round out their daily diet -- a truly good snack will be good for your child, keeping hunger at bay while adding to their overall intake of healthy foods (oh, and bonus points if it's actually enjoyable too!). The good news is that small steps toward healthy snacking can have a really big impact:

Super Snack Ideas

When you're faced with a between-meal meltdown, it helps to have some healthy snack ideas on hand. Here are some suggestions to keep hunger at bay: