Kids love to snack. The cries of "I'm starving, what can I eat now?!" are all too familiar for most parents. The problem is that many snacks can be full of saturated fat, salt and sugar. Eating too much of these over time can lead to serious health problems, so it's important to have healthy alternatives to hand when your wee one comes along demanding crisps and chocolate.
We've got some great ideas for quick, low-cost healthy snacks for busy families. When you're out and about our snack heroes will help fight hunger, or if you're looking for an after school nibble why not try one of our snack recipes? Making a few weekly changes can help keep your kids happy and healthy.
These quick and tasty snacks are great to grab on the go, or to give to kids after school. You can also make snacking more fun by preparing food together. Hopefully it will take their mind off being hungry for a wee while, while getting them to try something new.
After school snack ideas
- Give your kids pieces of apple, melon, strawberries, grapes, whatever's in the kitchen – remember to chop the grapes up. Look out for fruit that's in season, it's likely to be cheaper.
- Serve it in a bowl as a fruit pick 'n' mix, or on a skewer as a fruit kebab.
- If you're having a pudding, try sugar free yoghurt or sugar free jelly.
- Freeze a banana and mash it up. It's just like ice cream!
- Pop some grapes in the freezer and cut into smaller pieces before serving (you will want to make sure you chop the grapes up before they go in the freezer) – a great wee snack for cooling kids down.
Chips & Dips
- Toasted wraps or pitta and lower fat dips like salsa, low fat yogurt or reduced-fat hummus make a tasty snack.
- Rice cakes go great with lower fat cream cheese and cucumber.
- Try unsalted rice cakes, oatcakes or crackers topped with low fat cheddar.
- Cucumber, carrot or pepper sticks with a low fat dip are easy to make and fun to eat.
Lunch box snacks
Adding veggies to your child’s packed lunch is a great way of ensuring they get their five a day – but will they eat them? Here are a few ideas that might entice them:
- Children often prefer uncooked or raw veg as it is sweeter, crunchier and more colourful. It’s also easier for you to prepare – win win!
- Include a handful of raw snack veg like carrots, peppers and celery in their lunch box. It may go down better if you pack some low fat dip as well, like hummus or cream cheese.
- Make veg fun by threading chopped peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cubed cucumber or beetroot onto a lolly stick or skewer. Yum!
It's important to remember this is just one part of your child’s lunchbox and should be considered alongside other healthy food groups as part of a balanced meal.