One of the universal truths is that kids are always hungry. And while it can be tempting to reach for shop-bought snacks, unfortunately, many of these are not as healthy as we would like. They’re often full of sugar, refined fats and flour and artificial ingredients. So, we really need to limit these kinds of foods. However, all is not lost. With a little bit of imagination and preparation, snack time can be the perfect opportunity to sneak some extra nutrients into your kid’s diet and give them the energy boost they need when they come home from school.
Let’s take a look at some easy to prepare snacks that are not only healthy but delicious too.
As an excellent source of protein and calcium, yoghurt is a great kid-friendly snack for any time of the day. But don’t rush to buy kids yoghurts; they are chock-a-block with sugar. Choose full-fat yoghurts rather than low-fat or fat-free which often contain extra sugar and then add fruit and honey for natural sweetness.
Contrary to popular opinion, popcorn is a highly nutritious whole grain rather than a junk food. Don’t be tempted to buy ready-made sweet popcorn or the caramelised version, air pop your own either in a pan with a small amount of oil or in the microwave and then add a little butter.
Nuts and Trail Mix
Nuts are a great option for older children as they contain healthy fats and fibre. They can also be added to dried fruits and seeds to make a nutritious trail mix in preference to shop-bought mixes that often contain chocolate. Always make sure that your child is not allergic to nuts.
Creamy cottage cheese is a filling snack for little ones and can make a great base for adding fruit and vegetables. As a rich source of protein, vitamins and calcium, it can be eaten on its own or as a topping for wholewheat toast.
Cheese and Fruit
Offer your kids a small plate of cheese cut into fingers together with some fruit such as grapes. Like cottage cheese, it’s a good source of protein and calcium plus it has fat in there too which will keep your little ones fuller for longer.
Veggie Pitta Pocket
Some parents struggle to get their kids to eat vegetables but if you make vegetables fun, they’re more likely to want to try them. Slice up some veggies such as cucumber, peppers, lettuce and carrots. Take a small wholemeal pitta bread and cut into it to make a pocket. Spread hummus inside and let your kids fill the pocket with their choice of veggies.
Banana Oat Cookies
Simple to make but highly nutritious, these cookies require just 4 ingredients – 3 mashed bananas, 80 ml of coconut oil, 160 grams of oats and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. You can also add in chocolate chips or raisins for added deliciousness. Simply mix all the ingredients together, place dollops of the dough on a baking sheet and bake at 175oC for 15-20 minutes and voila – a sweet snack that they won’t even realise is healthy!
Snacks when On the Go!
All of the above snacks can be eaten both at home and on the go. To separate the snacks and keep the flavours intact, place them in a Bento box and be sure to add a matching drink bottle for the ultimate in practical and personalised containers that tell everyone who the snacks belong to!