Healthy toddler snack time

Toddlers love to snack. But many grab-and-go snacks popular with busy families are processed and contain excess sugar and sodium that can lead to poor eating habits and health concerns later in life.

There are easy ways to engage your toddler in snack time and teach them to eat right early on, said Sara Fausett, a registered dietitian-nutritionist at Intermountain Cedar City Hospital.

Jade Elliott spoke with Sara about some tips for healthy snacking.

“With a little planning, snack time can be a great way to help kids learn to eat right the fun way,” Fausett said.

Eating habits have the greatest impact on a person’s health, research shows. More than half of U.S. adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases, and many are related to poor diets and lack of physical activity. About one-fifth of U.S. children are clinically obese.

Teaching kids healthy eating and active lifestyles is a critical part of August’s Kids Eat Right Month, a campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Here are some toddler snack-time tips:

  • Establish a regular snack routine.
  • Serve snacks at the table. Eat together to model healthy snacking.
  •  Offer fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods, like string cheese.
  • Cut foods into small pieces and watch your toddler eat to prevent choking.
  •  Give toddlers choices among healthy options. This helps them learn to choose healthy foods and improve autonomy (which they love).

For on-the-go snacks, purchase healthy convenience items or make your own bagged snacks, like these:

  • Puree fruit mixes
  • String cheese
  •  Pretzels
  •  Mini packs of carrots or apples
  • Dry cereal
  •  Fruit (gummy fruit snacks don’t count!)

Additional information can be found at

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.