Dr. Bill Sears, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and co-author of The Baby Book, wrote a very informative article entitled “Graze Anatomy”, in which he fully explains the benefits of grazing for toddlers. It appeared in the June, 2011 edition of the “Costco Connection”. Let me quote directly from the article.
“Children are born grazers. One of the eating tips I give my patients of all ages is what I call Dr. Bill’s Rule of Two’s: Eat twice as often – Eat half as much – Chew twice as long.
Grazing benefits the brain. The buzzwords for feeding the brain are slow and steady. Grazers have steadier blood sugar and therefore a steadier supply of brain fuel. Parents often tell me that once they start encouraging their children to graze throughout the day, their children have fewer behavior and learning problems at school.
Grazing is good for staying lean. When you graze on frequent mini meals throughout the day, your body enjoys stable insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. When it spikes high throughout the day, such as when you gorge, you store that extra food as extra fat. When you graze, insulin is not so high, which helps keep you lean. Remember, lean does not mean being skinny, but rather having the right body weight for your body type.”
Dr. Sears goes on to describe what is a healthy snack for toddlers and children. They should contain at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber; contain 100 to 200 calories and be crunchy so that a lot of chewing is required to digest them. He gave a list of “Super Snacks” that are good for grazing. Here are some of the snacks listed:
Baby carrots dipped in hummus
Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
Whole-grain cereal with yogurt
Edamame (fresh, cooked soybeans)
String cheese and a piece of fruit
Cottage cheese and fruit
To Be Continued.