Ready to find healthy children’s snacks that encourage healthy eating and fine motor skills? It seems summer schedules and indoor activity due to Covid-19 are dictating the break from regular festivities. With all this new time together, you have the perfect opportunity to encourage your children’s healthy eating and snack habits!
Healthy children’s snacks can be difficult. With all the options, it can be confusing— really who doesn’t love easy to-go food pouches of fruits or vegetables? They’re convenient, healthy and satisfying to pick up to avoid snacking on junk food. Of course, healthy snack pouches are a great choice, but they may be depriving your child of developmental opportunities for fine motor skills.
Healthy Children’s Snacks for Summer
While generally thought to be nutritious, healthy food labels can be misleading. Think of juice bottles. Generally, they’re healthy but if you notice labels will note that overall juice is 90% concentrate with only 10% coming from actual fruits and vegetables. Alongside this, we often overlook how much sugar is truly in seemingly healthy snacks.
Typically, a 4oz. pouch of applesauce has 12 grams of sugar, which isn’t much different than a 6oz. cup of applesauce that contains 16 grams of sugar. While the difference is minor, this does highlight how much sugar is actually in your child’s healthy snack. Naturally, fresh fruit and vegetables have organic sugar, but it’s not nearly as high as in processed goodies we grab for our kids. In comparison to either of these applesauce options, a half cup of sliced apples has just 6 grams of sugar.
In our busy day-to-day lives, it’s understandable that we would trust health food stores to provide us with transparent, healthy options for snacks. While ideal, in fact a 4oz pouch of Sprouts Smoothies for Toddlers contains 13 grams of sugar! Just like sugar, it’s hard to know the actual amount of real fruits and vegetables in your child’s healthy snack.
Fine Motor Skills and Healthy Snacks
Snack food pouches, however healthy, can also limit your child’s healthy eating and motor skills development. Using snack pouches with toddlers actually reinforces a suckle response, which doesn’t allow adequate development of oral motor skills for chewing and swallowing. Coupled with sweet sugar, we’re inherently altering children’s palettes to follow a path that would encourage sugary, unhealthy eating, rather than a wide-ranging diet.
Overusing snack pouches can also inhibit the development of fine motor skills. Simple things like a pincer grasp, developed when self-feeding finger foods, or motor grasping skills developed by using a spoon or fork may be delayed.
Of course, everything in life needs balance, and healthy snack food pouches are great for on-the-go situations. But just like everything, they should be consumed in a balance and as a complement, rather than primary snack source. To help encourage motor skill development and a healthy overall diet, introduce fresh fruits, veggies or yogurt in a container.
Alongside these healthy children’s snacks, it’s important to show your children how meals and snacks should be eaten. Encourage your children to eat while sitting, rather than walking around holding things.
Want to explore how we can start working together for your child’s success? Call Greater Learning LP at 210.349.1415, Live Chat Our Team, or contact us to start working with a passionate provider.