Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Sometimes just getting your children to eat anything other than junk food can be a challenge but with the rise in childhood obesity, it is becoming more and more important that we encourage our offspring to eat a nutritious and balanced diet right from the start. Children need to absorb the right vitamins and minerals for a multitude of reasons; not only to enable them to grow and develop well but also so that they maintain their energy and motivation. Learning to choose healthy options during their early years will also help them to make the right decisions as they progress into adulthood.
Most of us are aware that fruit and veg are exactly the kinds of snacks that our kids should be eating but how do we persuade the fussy eaters to not only eat this vital source of vitamins and fibre but to actually enjoy them and want more? I personally think the perfect answer lies in jazzing them up with other ingredients until they are the best thing since sliced bread!
Here are a few ideas here for you to try:
- Mash up a favourite fruit and mix with natural or Greek yoghurt – spoon the mixture into mini jelly or ice lolly moulds and freeze them. If they seem just too tart you could add a small drop of runny honey to the mixture.
- Make a fruit smoothie and freeze as above – I like to add some melon chunks for the natural sweetness. You could even add a small amount of kale or spinach for added vitamins and no-one will ever know. Obviously, the smoothie will be equally yummy without being frozen!
- Freeze berries, either singly as finger snacks or mashed together into silicone muffin moulds. The mashed version makes a lovely frozen dessert – you could add a dollop of natural yoghurt as a topping.
These are simply perfect for hot summer days.
We don’t need to try and be all authentic here. The aim is to make a lovely little platter of snacky nibbles which can be eaten using fingers or a small fork. Try some or all of the following:
- Dried Fruit such as stoned dates
- Pitted Olives
- Small Melon Chunks
- Tiny Chunks of cheese
- Squares of melon or slivers of apple, wrapped in Palma ham (or any other thin meat)
- Quartered figs
All of these options are great for after school snacks, weekend brunches, the school lunchbox or even a family picnic at the park.
Dips can be sweet or savoury and made of literally anything that you can mash or blend.
- Natural or Greek Yoghurt is great for dipping anything from apple slices or strawberries through to cucumber or carrot. Try adding a little cream cheese or herbs for a more savoury taste.
- Hummus is really simple to make and makes a fantastic dip for any firm raw vegetables or even thinly sliced pitta
- Peanut Butter or any other nut butter makes a great dip for apple or veg batons (as long as your child does not have a nut allergy).
- Avocado – you can add a little yoghurt or cream cheese or leave it totally natural.
Vegetable crisps – sliced thinly and baked in the oven. You could use any or all of the following:
In fact, any other available root veg which can be sliced thinly!
Sweet potato fries – Cut sweet potato into wedges, spritz with a tiny spray of olive oil, sprinkle with a few fine herbs and bake. Useful as a snack or an accompaniment to a meal.
Courgette Muffins – You don’t have to use courgette because broccoli or spinach works equally well.
There are so many other options available that it’s hard to imagine why your child wouldn’t love some or all of the healthy choices available but if your child is still not convinced, try some of the following:
- Cinnamon apple slices
- Cheese/Fruit mini Kebabs
- Pitta bread with various fillings
- Overnight oats
- Mini chicken satay sticks
- Oatmeal snack cakes
- Homemade cheese straws
Persuading your child to choose healthy snacks may sometimes seem like a chore but it will be well worth the effort in the long term and the by-product is that you get to partake in eating these gorgeous titbits too!