Your active little tot is full of energy, and that means he or she may need some snacks in between milk feeds and meals to keep up. Snacks are small, light bites for little tummies and, are handy to have around to divert meltdowns and tantrums. Snacks seem to have a bad rep for being loaded with sugar – did you know that there are healthy snack options that are packed with nutrition? This handy list will give you some ideas on healthy snacks to pack along when your little one is out and about with you!
Fruit make easy snacks which require minimal preparation. Berries are great because cutting is not required and are bite-sized, perfect for kids! Put some berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries) or grapes into a container and inside a cooler bag to maintain freshness. Berries are juicy, seedless, low in calories and packed with phytochemicals which protect cells from damage.
For larger fruit like apples and pears, your child can munch on them as it is, or simply slice them into wedges. Apples tend to oxidise when cut up, so you may like to squeeze some lemon juice over to keep them turning brown and drying up quickly. Include a variety of two to three types of fruit if possible.
- Rice Biscuits
Rice biscuits for children are oblong and flavoured. Choose brands which do not add artificial flavouring and colouring. Rice biscuits double up as teething biscuits to relieve itchy gums and make good snacks as they don’t crumble into pieces but melt only in the mouth.
Rice is made up of 90% carbohydrate, 8% protein and 2% fat, which makes it a source of energy for active young children as they expend more energy.
Sandwiches can be filled with anything your child likes, from peanut butter to jam or ham and cheese. You can sneak in vegetables in between too! It may get a bit messy, so cut them into bite-sized pieces for easy handling. Toast them or leave it soft and fluffy. You can also use sandwich cutters to create cute shapes to appeal to children.
- Cucumber slices or carrot sticks
Inculcating a healthy diet from young reduces the risk of childhood obesity. Cucumber slices are refreshing and contain many important nutrients and vitamins. Made of 96% water, cucumbers have a high water content which promotes hydration.
Carrots are particularly high in beta-carotene, fibre, Vitamin K and potassium and can be eaten chilled or warm. They are naturally sweet, and hold them shape well, which makes it great for Baby Led Weaning too!
Cucumber and carrot sticks may be served with a dipping sauce. Try blending yoghurt with avocado and lime juice and chill it to make a yummy, creamy dip.
- Banana Pancakes
Only two ingredients are needed for this super easy, kid-friendly recipe – Banana and Eggs. Mash up a ripe banana into chunks and beat an egg in. Use a tablespoon pour the batter over a heated oiled pan and make bite sized pancakes!
No sugar is needed as bananas contain natural sugars.
- String cheese
String cheese can be bought off the shelf in supermarkets and require no preparation. High in calcium and protein yet low in calories. Chewy, stringy and firm, it is a popular snack amongst toddlers.
There are certain brands which cater to children and contain less sodium and saturated fat than usual. However, a string cheese is ultimately a processed food, do exercise moderation when feeding it to your children.
What is your go-to snack for children which is healthy yet easy to prepare? Let us know in the comments!