Snacking on Demand
Monday, August 20, 2012
There are no hard and fast rules for how many snacks a day you should be offering but some families find it useful to have an eating structure of 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. Snacks are ideal for your little one, to keep them going. When you watch them bounding around with relentless enthusiasm and energy, a snack aimed at regulating their blood sugars and sustaining them to mealtimes might be just what they need.
Feeding-on-demand is an encouraged and common feeding approach for babies and continues to apply to toddlers but in a slightly different context. As a baby, you would have probably allowed your little one to have eaten as much as she wanted as often as she needed. Once the toddler years appear, a little more structure is needed whilst also allowing your child to retain some control – they are after all the one who is “feeling” hungry.
You choose how many snacks and the foods on offer and your child chooses when to eat the snack
This way you are creating an eating structure that allows you to ensure your little one has control over their hunger/satiety whilst ensuring they aren't grazing throughout the day and spoiling their meals. Having this structure has other benefits in that you won't find yourself falling in to the trap of using food as an emotional comforter - "if you stop crying you can have this". It encourages your little one to learn about action/consequence - if they happen to gobble both snacks in one go then they will be hungry later, but this is all part of learning to make healthy choices around food and remember that learning what hunger feels like is a developmental leap.
Cereal bars becoming an increasingly common snack offering for children as well as for adults. Recent research by consumer group Which? Found of 30 cereal bars tested, only 1 was not high in sugar. Why not try making your own cereal bars? Our recipe below keeps well in a food storage container in the fridge for up to 5 days and your little one can help get their hands sticky in the mixture.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
80g unsalted butter
1 tbsp honey
100g jumbo oats
100g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, apricots, dates, figs)
50g mixed nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, cashews)
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160 fan) Gas 4
- Melt the butter and honey in the microwave or in a saucepan on a low heat
- Bash the mixed nuts in a bag with a rolling pin to break them up or pop them in a food mixer until blitzed in to tiny pieces to reduce the risk of choking
- Either chop the mixed fruit or pop in the food mixer too
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Line and grease a baking tin and tip the mixture in, squidging it down
- Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20 minutes
- Makes around 10 – 12 snack bars and store well in the fridge for several days
Note: Nuts are a great source of protein but are a common allergen. Ensure the pieces are small enough to not pose a choking hazard
We like to set our little ones a good example and encourage sharing. We don't mind you using any of the information, recipes and tips from our website, all we ask is that you credit us hard-working mummies here at Yummy Discoveries.
Thank you x