Snack time is about more than just filling your baby’s tummy. At SpoonfulONE, we want to make sure that every snack you choose helps give your little one(s) the fuel they need for healthy brain and body development. But when it comes to picking the right foods to complement mealtime, not all snacks are made equal.
What your child eats during their first year of life has a big impact on their physical and mental growth - and also sets the stage for healthy eating habits throughout the rest of their life.
From increasing the number of vitamins and nutrients in their diet, to keeping up their energy so they can explore and learn, introducing balanced and healthy baby snacks is a vital component of your child’s development.
In addition to breastmilk or formula, new and diverse snacks should be introduced to your little ones starting at around 6 months, or when developmentally ready.
Though your baby may be more inclined to enjoy sweet or salty foods, food preferences begin in infancy and will be influenced by early, positive, and repeated experiences with a variety of foods, including healthy snacks.
From 6-24 months, your little one will enjoy 5-6 meals or snacks during the day, so it’s important to make every bite count!
When shopping or preparing healthy snacks, here are some things you want to look out for:
Don’t sacrifice nutrition for an easy, on-the-go snack. The best baby snacks aren’t highly processed, packed with sugar, or void of all nutrients. Instead, they should contain high-quality, wholesome ingredients. Look for an ingredient list that is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein will help give your baby sufficient amounts of calcium, iron, vitamin D, and other vitamins and minerals they need for healthy growth and development.
Infants consume small quantities of foods, so it’s important to make sure that what we feed our little ones is highly diverse. The more opportunity you have to include new and different healthy ingredients, the more likely your little one will develop a taste for a varied and diverse diet.
The number of calories needed is often linked to weight, age, and physical activity. Older, more active, and larger children will need more calories to fuel their activities on a daily basis. Because babies have small stomachs, they need to eat multiple times throughout the day to ingest enough calories to support their energy and growth.
Studies have suggested that the first years of a child's life may be the optimal window for promoting the development of healthy eating behaviors. Whether at mealtime or snack time, help your child learn healthy eating habits.
Packaged snacks you find down the baby aisle are often loaded with excess salt, sugar, and carbohydrates. So when you choose snacks, be sure to check ingredient labels so your child won’t develop a preference for sweets, and an aversion to healthy snacks.
When choosing healthy, organic baby snacks, here are some of our favorite go-to’s: