As your little one crosses the 12-month milestone and becomes a toddler, their nutritional needs evolve. At this stage, as with every stage of introducing food and eating, you will be looking at introducing new flavors, shapes and textures to support the development of their motor skills and palate. We are here to share some thoughts and tips from our leading baby feeding experts and pediatricians to help you make positive choices.
- Complement their regular meals: Snacks are meant to complement regular meals, not replace them. Keep a balance between nutritious main meals and well-timed snacks.
- Aim for two to three snacks per day between main meals. Offer a balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. For instance, Little Bellies animal crackers with cheese and sliced cucumbers to create a well-rounded snack.
- Avoid over-processed snacks: opt for organic whole-food snacks whenever possible. While processed snacks might be convenient, try to limit them because they are often loaded with excess sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.
- If you are strapped for time and looking for convenience, ready-to-eat snacks are your best bet. However, as you buy store-bought toddler snacks, opt for natural and organic. Avoid anything that is overprocessed.
- Explore textures: Your little one is a curious explorer! Introduce a variety of textures to stimulate their senses. This also encourages chewing and helps develop their oral motor skills. From crunchy Little Bellies veggie tubes to soft fruit like banana or mango, this is a great way to develop their palate and enrich their snacking experience.
For more guidance on toddler snacks, please read our Toddler Food & Snack Guide for 12+ Months.