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Snacks are an important part of a child’s daily food intake not just a “treat” between meals.
- Frequent nibbling or sipping increases a child’s risk for cavities. It’s not just sugar that contributes to cavities. There are many factors involved in tooth decay, including how often food is eaten and how long food stays on the teeth.
- Eating healthy food and brushing the teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste will help prevent tooth decay.
Tips for Healthy Snacking:
- Choose healthy snacks – choose foods from a least 2 of the 4 food groups in “Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating”.
- Offer 2 to 3 snacks per day – avoid nibbling and sipping all day.
- Change the snacks often – provide lots of variety in the snacks you offer.
Snack Suggestions for Hungry Children:
- Grain Products: bagels, breads, buns, cereals, crackers, muffins, pita breads, roti breads
- Vegetables and Fruit: applesauce, raw vegetables*, raw fruits*, fruit juices, vegetable juices
- Milk Products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, ice milk, milk puddings, yogurt
- Meat and Alternatives: eggs, nuts*, peanut butter*, seeds*
- Mixed Foods: pizzas, sandwiches
Snack Suggestions for Thirsty Children:
- Offer water often throughout the day.
- Milk, yogurt drinks, vegetable juices, fruit juices, apples, grapes (cut in half for younger children)*, melons, oranges, peaches, cucumbers.
*These foods may cause choking in children under 4 years of age. Always supervise young children when they are eating.