Ideas you can use to ensure snacks are healthy and filling for your kids
Some days, kids cannot seem to get in enough food! Snack after snack after snack, and still “I’m hungry Mum, what can I eat?” Luckily, in Australia, we have access to a huge range of fresh foods from which you can make delicious meals, and snacks are no exception. If your kids seem to be constantly hungry, try some snacks with a hit of protein, like our Cashew Tuna Dip, which has both nuts and tuna and will keep them full for longer (It’s also great for adults).
Here are a range of ideas for health and nutritious snacks which are easy to prepare and even fun to make.
Smoothies are not only a highly nutritious snack, but are also fun for kids to help make. Kids love to try new flavours and create a whole range of colours in the process. By including Oats in your smoothies, you can make sure they are filling as well as great tasting, like our Berry Busy Day Smoothie from our recipes page. Again, this smoothie is not only great for kids, but great for Mum too.
Another smoothie I really love is the ‘Quick and Easy Smoothie’. As the name suggests, this is something that takes a very short amount of time to prepare. This smoothie can also be varied with different fruits provides another option for a filling and healthy snack for your children.
Quick and Easy Smoothie
A hand full of ice cubes
1 cup of frozen organic mango
2 tablespoons yogurt
Filtered water to consistency
You might like to try smoothies made with different vegetables, or a mix of fruit and vegetables, like carrot or pineapple. Your only limit is your imagination, and your kids can always help with imagination!
Dips are a great fun snack for kids, which can be easily made at home if you have a food processor. Teaming them up with some cut up vegetables and some crackers and your snack time is ready to go. My kids love to have a go at cutting up the vegetables to go with the dip, and even if it’s something they don’t like eating, they are experiencing it none the less. As well as the Cashew Tuna Dip above, here are some other ideas for dips you could try:
Some of the above foods have a great array of good fats and are very nutritious for your children’s wellbeing. Even muffins can be a healthy snack, and I find it’s a good idea to cook them beforehand and have them frozen and ready to go. Better still, make them with wholemeal flour or whole grains, to ensure they are low GI and keep them full for longer.
This Chia and Zucchini Sugar Free muffin recipe only has six ingredients and is easy to make, and they freeze well too! Give it a try!
For something a little sweeter, try these Banana Chocolate Muffins. Packed with energy, these are going to keep your kid going for the rest of the afternoon and certainly through until dinner.
Wraps are a healthy and nutritious snack for kids, and they love to put them together themselves. Getting the kids to cut up some vegetables, and load up their flat bread with them keeps them entertained. Add some of our tuna dip, or other sauce or mayonnaise to make them yummy and filling. Kids are much more likely to eat food they have prepared themselves and it’s a good way to start teaching them about nutritious food preparation by simply making it part of their lives.
Having said this, as children grow older, it is more difficult to control everything they eat. We often discuss making better choices and the idea of ‘sometimes foods’. When we are out together, they can choose the one thing they would like to try most and use it as an experience to get to know food better.
For a cold and rainy day, perhaps hot snacks are the thing, and at Baby Bistro, we have a large range of options to keep in your freezer, so you can pull them out at any time. Check out our Big Eats range for some simple ‘heat and eat’ options. All of our ranges are wholly organic and healthy for your kids with no additives or preservatives included.
One of the most important things when offering snacks, is to remember that good fats, nutritionally dense, and high protein foods will always keep them satisfied for longer, as well as anything that is low GI. Healthy fats are contained in foods such as Avocado, Whole Eggs, Oils, Nuts and Seeds, Whole Milk Yoghurt, Butter and Milk, so try incorporating these into your kid’s diet.
For some more information on healthy eating for kids, have a look at this great download from the Eat for Health Australian Government Website. It talks about not only what kids should be eating, but also what portion sizes should look like for different age ranges.
In the meantime, try and enjoy preparing kid’s snacks by involving them in the process and keeping it fun, and take the opportunity to spend some happy time together. Comment below and tell us your favourite heathy snack, we’d love to hear your ideas.