Toddlers: 24 Months+

Healthy snack ideas and do you ever say no to food?

My twins are pretty much on the same eating/sleeping/activity schedule. At birth, my son weighed 1lbs 9oz more than his sister! Within a few months, he was 4 pounds bigger than her. She was only 5lbs at birth and was small for most of the first year. She has definitely caught up though. At 2, she was ~40th percentile for weight and ~80th for height. Since my son was 3-4 months old, he's been 75th percentile or higher for weight. He's probably 90th percentile for weight now, His head is also large-90-98th percentile. His height is at least average...he is usually anywhere from 50-75th percentile for height. My son is about 5-6 lbs bigger than his sister now!

So, this shows how much about body size is genetic b/c they are twins who are served the same food and are on the same schedule!

We give them mostly organic food. Earth's best fish/chicken nuggets, veggies and fruit is a typical lunch/dinner. They are starting to snack ALL THE TIME though. I have never told them no and am not really sure how to handle it & know it could be a growth spurt. Of course, they are preferring cereal bars, granola bars, cereal for a snack over fruit, veggies or leftover meal items. I really try to be careful with that b/c I know that packaged foods are full of carbs/sugar. But, when I go grocery shopping or run an errand, they are usually with me and that is usually what I pack to keep them occupied (packaged convenience foods).

Do you have any healthy snack suggestions? Should I cut them off if I feel like they have had enough to eat?


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Re: Healthy snack ideas and do you ever say no to food?

  • I have never been one to bring along snacks unless we are going to be gone a long time when I know we'll have to eat, so yes I have to say no (or wait until we get home) all the time. If we are going on a big outing like an afternoon at the park or a day at the pool, I try to bring along healthyish food like string cheese, apple slices, whole wheat bagel and cream cheese, turkey pepperoni bites, raisins, etc. Then, since those are the only choices, my kids just eat it. They get plenty of junk too, though, like if it's winter and we are stir-crazy enough to go to Chik-Fil-A to play, or suckers at the bank, cookies at grandma's, pizza if I'm craving it, etc. I just try not to have that stuff on hand so it doesn't become an all-day everyday carbathon.
  • We do cheese, yogurt, crackers, cereal, granola bars, fruit, smoothies, cold cut veggies, etc as snacks. When we go out whether it's to the grocer's or traveling to my parents, I always pack a snack. Typically it's cereal or a granola bar. I don't ever say no to food. I may take it away when I notice that she is playing with her food or not eating but if she asks, I give her food. My daughter has her days where she will eat all day and other days (like yesterday) where she eats like a bird. I think all she had yesterday was a bowl of grapes, raspberries, cheese and a couple bite sized pieces of homeade pizza.
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  • I am generally anti-snacking, and my LO gets one afternoon snack because I still think it is a long time for her to go between lunch and dinner, but that is it.  I would rather give them more food at mealtimes or consider moving meal times around to match their hunger patterns, rather than let them snack. If she asks for something to eat between meals I offer water (or sometimes milk), and distract her with a fun activity.  If she really is hungry, i might give her next meal a little earlier.   Personally, I am not a fan of the junk foods that are typically given as snacks, or a fan of the idea of eating while doing other activities (we don't do snacking in the car, or any of that).

    Our usual snack is fruit with either yogurt, half PB&J sandwich, cheese, or cubed tofu.
    When we are out for the day, I actually bring those with us, and we stop and have a meal mid-afternoon. 

    That said, my LO is in daycare with a schedule, so I don't have to manage it during the week, and we keep that schedule when she is with us all day over the weekend.  I know for SAH parents who are taking kids with them on errands etc where they can't be home on scheduled mealtimes, it might be different.  Plus you have twins, so do what you gotta do!!!!  But if they get a granola bar every time they go grocery shopping with you, they are going to ask for one everytime they go whether they are hungry or not!  If you can think of something else that would work as a distraction (toy? colors? "I spy"? holding things and putting it in the cart?) then I'd definitely try that before using food.


  • BigboobsmcgeeBigboobsmcgee member
    edited March 2015

    My 3 year old is the pickiest eater in the whole world and he became a snacker, without us even realizing it. I've realized that part of my son's problem is that he snacks way too often, then isn't hungry at meal time and meals have become a battle. It's a very long, complicated story of how we got where we are at but IMO and IME, I would definitely limit snacks. You know your children well and if they are absolutely famished or starving, then offer 2 different small, healthy snacks and let them choose. But I would be careful with snacks and not let snacking become a habit like we have.

    We have 3 different households, including our own, that we have to make sure doesn't let my son snack all day (sitter and g-ma) because I've seen firsthand how it has negatively affected him. My son was born 9lbs and has always been in the 98th percentile for height and weight. He's a big boy, but doesn't eat very much.

  • Oh, some snacks that we offer are slices of cheese and crackers, apples, banana, cut up tomatoes, Kashi granola bars and DS's personal favorite...applesauce.
  • I don't see anything wrong in developing healthier snacking habits. I think that a way to start is to set up 'snacking routine' for the whole family. I also like what @Bigboobsmcgee suggested about offering them two little snacks to choose from. Once kids notice that it's not normal to snack every hour they may become less interested in snacks as a way to have fun. That's just a suggestion though.
  • We stick with normal snack schedules, one in the morning and one in the afternoon because breakfast is at 6, lunch at 11 and dinner at 5 (long stretches without food). If I let them eat they would snack all day- but they are also in daycare and it's a habit they've become accustomed to. If they are asking for food and it's not snack time and they've been especially active to where I feel like they're actually hungry and not bored I will do yogurt, fruit, snack bar (Plum Organics makes a good one with veggies inside) but nothing that's a treat. Sometimes I'll have my daughter (who's 5) drink a big glass of water and go play for a bit to see if she's actually thirsty and confusing it with hunger. I'll do that with my two year old with milk- 
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