Snacks are just as important as meals. They provide another opportunity to pack nutrition into a child’s day, and they help maintain a child’s seemingly endless energy to explore their world.
Instead of letting them reach for a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar (which give a quick energy boost, but are high in fat and sugar and have little in the way of nutrients), offer them some healthy snacks instead. These will take the edge off their hunger until dinner time and it’s another good opportunity to sneak in one of their 5 a days!
Check out our list of healthy snacks:
- Dried fruit, nut and seed mix (for children over 5 with no history of nut/seed allergy)
- Some fresh juice, grapes or a handful of dried fruit (e.g. raisins, dried mango, dried banana, or dried strawberries) are a better option.
- 100% fruit bar
- Vegetable sticks (carrot, cucumber, peppers) with plain yoghurt dip
- A yoghurt or fromage frais – avoiding those with a high added sugar content.
- Fruit juice lolly
- A piece of toast, bread, crumpet, malt loaf etc
- A homemade muffin, scone, cookie or piece of flapjack
- Rice cakes
- A slice of cheese
- Chocolate biscuits – Try plain ones or rice/oat cakes. A tasty alternative may be a slice of wholemeal bread with a yummy topping such as sliced banana.
- Bars of chocolate – Switch to a chocolate covered wafer or even better a plain one. With real chocolate, why not share a bar or leave half for tomorrow?
- Cake – Try a fruit scone or an English muffin instead.
- Crisps – Go for the baked variety or breadsticks. Unsalted nuts are also a healthier option.
- Fizzy drinks – Water is always the best option but you could alternate with 100% fruit juice. To give it some fizz, why not add sparkling water?
- Ice cream – Why not switch to delicious low fat frozen yoghurt? When unfrozen, this can also be used as a healthy option to dip fruit in.
- Popcorn – Instead of the toffee variety, try homemade popcorn – adding a little sugar to sweeten if necessary.
Remember – keep the unhealthy snacks out of reach of the kids so they can’t help themselves and limit snacks to 2 a day (make sure one of these has fruit or veggies in it).