The latest post in a series I have written on Healthy Eating for Kids. This is number 4 and you can read 1,2 and 3 here.
This post looks at what to give your kids as a snack when they are hungry between meals. Most commonly, when they get home from school absolutely starving and turn into little monsters due to low blood sugar! They need a little something to tide them over before their evening meal but you don’t want it to be too filling or unhealthy. I’ve put together some ideas for snacks you can make but also some cheat versions for when you just can’t be bothered!
Of course there’s the usual offering of a piece of fruit, a yogurt, or a handful of grapes but sometimes you need a bit extra up your sleeve. There are some great ideas out there for creating interesting snacks, take a look at Matt Wade Banana King on Facebook who has some great ideas for creative ways with fruit and veg. Hopefully these will inspire you!
These are for when you’ve offered a banana and an apple but they’ve been rejected as “boring”! Try fruit/veg sticks as an alternative, they are quick to produce and you can have them ready prepared in the fridge to whip out when those hunger pangs hit.
- Apples, Pears and Pineapple work well as sticks, to stop them turning brown, toss in a little orange juice then store in an airtight container. As a treat you could melt a little Nutella in a bowl for dipping (this also provides protein which keeps hunger at bay for longer).
- Carrots, Peppers and Celery are perfect for cutting up into sticks, store them in a little water to keep fresh. Try little pots of hummus or cream cheese for a dipping snack.
- Cheat with ready made snack packs, Asda sell bags of apple segments, grapes, carrot sticks etc, currently 6 bags for £2.00. You can also buy snack pots of philadelphia in cream cheese or chocolate flavours.
Healthy granola bars
These granola bars are perfect for an on-the-go snack or to keep your little darlings going between meals. Store them in an airtight container and they will last several days. They take 5 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook and make 16 bars or 32 bite size pieces.
- ¼ cup of organic honey
- ¼ cup of organic peanut butter (chunky or smooth- your kids choice!)
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup of traditional rolled organic oats
- ¼ cup of dried unsweetened cranberries
- ¼ cup of dried, unsweetened apricots chopped (or whatever fruit your little ones and you love)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)
- Put the peanut butter, honey and vanilla into a microwave safe bowl and melt for 45 seconds on high.
- Stir well once melted
- Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Once mixed, add the peanut butter mixture and stir well into dry ingredients
- If the mixture is not sticky enough either add more honey or peanut butter
- Put the mixture into a non-greased +- 20 cm square pan
- Bake at 180 ° for 10-15 minutes or until they appear a light golden brown colour
- Cheat with bite size flapjack pieces sold in most supermarkets or try Nakd bars which have super healthy ingredients and no additives.
Homemade Ice Lollies
Ice lollies are really cheap and easy to make yourself and the advantage is that you know exactly what ingredients have gone into them.
Click the image to see my post on making your own ice lollies and some great recipe ideas.
- Cheat with Marks and Spencer’s freshly squeezed orange juice bars, or Sainsbury’s Blue Parrot Cafe Organic Apple Juice Mini Ice Lollies. Or simply pop a banana into the freezer and “hey presto”, banana ice cream!
When the weather turns cooler, a bowl of soup is perfect as a healthy snack. You can make a big batch of healthy, vegetable soup and freeze it in batches, then when needed, pull out and microwave for a really quick fix. Soup is so easy to make and I have a few recipes on this blog, you can see them here….
These have to be the easiest snack ever, a handful of nuts is satisfying, filling and healthy. Nuts have an unbelievable amount of trace minerals in them whilst also being packed full of protein and good fats. Almonds are a good choice for kids as they are quite sweet, as are cashews. Just be careful with allergies and smaller children who might choke. The following recipe is a real treat for nut lovers.
- Honey Roasted Nuts. Spread a baking sheet with a cup each of almonds, cashews and walnuts, bake at 175c for 12-15 minutes. In a pan, heat together 2 tablespoons each of olive oil, water, honey and brown sugar, allow to simmer. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and cinnamon, mix then add the nuts and coat evenly. Spread back on the baking sheet and separate with a fork. When cool, transfer to an airtight container.
Cheat with snack packs of nuts, just watch the salt content.
Do you have any of your own ideas for quick and easy but healthy snacks? Please share!