A healthy and well balanced diet is important for kids to maintain healthy growth and development. Snack time is a great way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into a child’s daily diet. Children have smaller sized stomachs than adults and therefore are less likely to eat enough at meals to keep them full and energized until the next mealtime which makes snack time a great way for parents to get in those extra nutrients. They also offer a variety of benefits.
Snacking helps kids develop healthy habits
Including three meals and two healthy snacks into your child’s daily diet helps kids learn healthy eating habits that will stick with them for a lifetime. Providing a well-balanced and healthy diet helps kids learn appropriate portion control, to eat (and enjoy) a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, and develop a healthy relationship with food. Kids who learn these valuable habits early are less likely to form unhealthy eating habits such as eating out of boredom or based on emotional factors. They also learn to eat when they are hungry and stop eating when they are full, a skill many adults struggle with.
Snacking gives kids the boost they need
Without snacking, kids are less likely to meet the suggested nutritional intake to maintain a healthy diet because their stomachs are smaller and become full with a smaller meal. Adding two small snacks a day that provide fruit, veggies, low fat dairy, or whole grain helps kids fill in the nutritional gaps they may have been missing from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, snacks provide a boost of energy to get kids through the rest of the day.
Snacking benefits a child’s overall health
The development of healthy eating habits at a young age decreases the likelihood of children developing diseases like cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Kids who eat more fruits and vegetables, and less “junk food” that contain high quantities of sugar, are also more likely to have better dental hygiene. Kids, who maintain a healthy diet, including smart snack choices, are less likely to binge on foods high in calories and carbohydrates and are more likely to maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives.
Snacking helps power brain development
Kids who eat healthy snacks are, generally, more prepared to listen and learn at school because their bellies are full. They have more energy and are more attentive in class. Hungry kids become irritable, tired, and less alert. A healthy snack can do a lot to help kids grow and develop properly.