Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…

Favourite healthy snacks for children (by a Nutritionist)

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Favourite healthy snacks for children.

Some days I find that the whole focus of my day is centred around food; planning, preparing, eating and clearing up. My children have 5-6 eating sessions per day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack/milk/water. No wonder it seems to take up the whole day!

Having worked with food manufacturers I know exactly what they are aiming for with children’s snacks. They try to make them the correct portion size, which they sometimes get right and sometimes not! They also try to make the packaging as appealing as they possibly can; bright, sparkly, crinkly loud and noticeable. Kids are programmed to find high calorie food (just watch my 1 year old head towards a bin if we go out somewhere; it’s not a pretty sight but its genetics…right?!)

I’ve put together a list of healthy snacks for you to try. There are hundreds of snacks to try and I will keep adding to this so please feel free to let me know of your children’s favourites.

Nuts

Seeds

Dairy

Vegetable

Sweet

Grain

Walnuts

Pumpkin seeds

Yoghurt plain

Sweet potato chips

Fruit (cut into shapes)

Popcorn (no salt)

Almonds

Sunflower seeds

Yoghurt + 1tsp Nutella/Jam/berries

Beetroot chips

Dark chocolate pieces

Crackers

Pecans

Cheese cut into squares or shapes

Avocado pieces

Apple chips

Flapjack

Cashews

Frozen yoghurt

Zucchini sticks

Dried apricots

Granola

Fetta cheese pieces

Carrot sticks

Raisins

Yoghurt with crushed nuts

Hummous

Frozen fruit

Edamame

Snow peas

How does it work?

Try to incorporate just one from each category each day of the week. Then move onto combining 2-3 from each category each day.

Monday could be walnuts

Tuesday could be frozen yoghurt.

Progress onto combining almonds with dried apricots etc.

Use packaging psychology

Put the snacks into colourful little pots. Blue is good as it is not a natural colour of food and therefore your kids wont be so focussed on what it in the pot; rather that it is just food. If your children are more accustomed to processed foods it may be best to start them off with just one type of snack each time. Then progress to combining different types.

Involve the kids

Let your children choose their containers for the day or the week. Have them prepare the snacks with you. Get them involved in the preparation or cooking.

Add flavour

Use herbs and spices to add flavour instead of e numbers! Add cinnamon or nutmeg to apple or fruit, add a touch of pepper, cumin or mustard powder to sweet potato chips. A little goes a long way and kids love the flavour.

Keep it real

Lets face it, sometimes it’s just not possible to have healthy snacks. You might be tired, the packaged stuff might be cheaper during a tight week or you may just need a little break from prepping the snacks. I try to have healthy snacks 80% of the time for myself and the children and that seems to work quite well.

Variation

As with any diet moderation is key as is variation. Keep it interesting; full of flavour and different textures. Children can certainly be creatures of habit but they also love experimenting. Offer different choices when they have friends over or when a more adventurous sibling may encourage them. An adults party is a great opportunity to encourage kids to try something different – they will try to fit in with us and eat different foods to do so. Another very important reason for variation is that it is a stamp of certification that the child is getting a varied diet; different flavours and textures generally mean different nutrients and levels of fibre.

Keep on experimenting and keep on snacking!

Author: EmmaNutrition

Emma Wight-Boycott MSc mBANT is a natural health expert with a passion for simplifying the science. Emma works with post natal mums, weekend runners and those with digestive issues to find the source of their health issues and rediscover their health mojo.

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