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Are Gummy Snacks Good for Toddlers?

by Elizabeth Stover, studioD

Too much of almost anything can be unhealthy for anyone, and gummy snacks for toddlers are no different. A few gummy snacks, if small and soft enough not to cause choking, will not ruin a toddler's daily nutrition. However, there are better choices for snacks and treats that provide more nutritional value. Whether your toddler wants a chewy, fruity or mixed snack, there are many healthy choices.

Simple Carbohydrates

Toddlers have small stomachs and need to eat about every two to three hours. Complex carbohydrates found in fruits and whole grains keep toddlers full longer than the simple sugars or carbohydrates in gummy snacks. The 15 grams of simple carbohydrates in eight gummy snacks will not keep a toddler full very long. Giving more of this type of snack provides too much simple carbohydrate and sugar. Provide toddlers healthier snack choices most of the time.

Fruit Leathers

Look for snacks labeled as natural fruit leather for a snack similar to gummy snacks without the added sugar. Many commercial fruit snacks found in grocery store cereal aisles contain added sugar. Fruit leather contains just fruit. Use a food dehydrator to make homemade fruit leathers from fresh or frozen fruit puree.

Frozen Fruit

Toddlers enjoy frozen treats and many fruits freeze well. Cut fruits into small bites to avoid choking hazards such as whole grapes. Make pieces no larger than half a grape. Freeze pieces of banana, pineapple, grapes, peaches and strawberries. Serve them to toddlers from a bowl, allowing them to use fingers or plastic utensils.

Snack Mix

Toddlers like to explore small items. Provide a snack mix with a variety of elements. Mix a large batch and store in an airtight container. Serve the snack to toddlers in bowls or small cups. Use circular dry oat cereal, whole grain cereal squares, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds and raisins in the snack mix. Shake the mix in a plastic bag with some ranch seasoning mix for more kid-friendly flavor.

About the Author

Elizabeth Stover, an 18 year veteran teacher and author, has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Maryland with a minor in sociology/writing. Stover earned a masters degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas, Arlington and continues to work on a masters in Educational Leadership from University of North Texas. Stover was published by Creative Teaching Press with the books "Science Tub Topics" and "Math Tub Topics."

Photo Credits

  • Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images