Emma Nutrition

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

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Favourite healthy snacks for children (by a Nutritionist)

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.








Pumpkin seeds

Yoghurt plain

Sweet potato chips

Fruit (cut into shapes)

Popcorn (no salt)


Sunflower seeds

Yoghurt + 1tsp Nutella/Jam/berries

Beetroot chips

Dark chocolate pieces



Cheese cut into squares or shapes

Avocado pieces

Apple chips



Frozen yoghurt

Zucchini sticks

Dried apricots


Fetta cheese pieces

Carrot sticks


Yoghurt with crushed nuts


Frozen fruit


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.


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!

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Lactation cookies

If you are looking to increase your milk supply or simply maintain a good supply here is a recipe to try. It’s also tasty and delicious. Enjoy!


Linseeds/Flaxseeds x 40gm
Water x 80ml
Brewer’s yeast x 2tbsp
Butter, cubed x 180gm (or healthy oil such as cold pressed Rapeseed or Coconut)
Rapadura sugar or dark brown sugar x 300gm
Vanilla extract x 1 tsp
Spelt (or plain) flour x 260gm
Eggs x 2
Rolled oats x 300gm
Cacao nibs (optional) x 100gm (or dried fruit)
Nuts of choice x 100gm (I like to use walnuts)


  • Blend linseeds 10 sec or use milled
  • Add water to linseeds and set aside.
  • Place yeast, butter, rapadura and vanilla into blender/bowl and mix
  • Add linseed mixture, flour, eggs and mix/stir 20 sec.
  • Add oats, cacao nibs and nuts and mix through.
  • Place mixture into flattened balls onto baking trays & cook 15 minutes at 180C until golden around the edges.
  • You can double the recipe, roll up a batch in 4” lots and freeze (ready for a quick snack when busy with baby)

    Nutrition notes:
    Oats are my favourite ‘medicine food’; they are the most important food for increasing supply (the scientific reason for this isn’t certain). Healthy fats are also important as breast milk is made from fats in the diet ( hence those cookie/cake cravings that we’ve all had so its best to use healthy fats). Linseeds are another galactagogue (supply increaser) that are an important addition to the diet of a breastfeeding mother.

    Per Serving:
    Cals 203
    Carbs 24
    Fat 10
    Protein 4
    Fibre 2
    Sugar 12

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    Melon stars and hearts for kids

    Today my son’s nursery were having a little farewell party for the year. Just like his mum he likes to party so I thought we had better make some healthy snacks. I couldn’t very well send him with a packet of crisps could I….reputation and all that! So in true competitive mummy style I wanted to make something a little different. I thought of cutting out shapes of food then voila it hit “why not use cookie cutters?” I bought some watermelon and cantaloupe (aka honeydew melon).

    The watermelon worked perfectly, the cantaloupe not so great but still do-able certainly.

    Here is a picture of my creation…..


    Here’s where the story gets interesting though…….on the way to nursery whilst juggling the double pram, a little backpack, the container of vege sticks, the plate of melon stars and the dog I lost the battle and DROPPED THE MELON STARS!! I could have cried 😦 Serves me right for showing off I guess!

    My son didn’t mind though as he still had a fab party and danced away with his little friends. Mental note…..transport everything in sealed plastic containers!


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    Protein-rich breakfasts prevent unhealthy snacking in the evening, study finds

    An interesting study I found this morning while eating my (egg!) breakfast.

    In my experience personally and in my clients a protein breakfast is one of the most achievable and successful ways of reducing cravings and therefore snacking. Uncontrolled snacking that is….where you reach for a high sugar or high carb snack that will only satisfy for a few minutes. To curb cravings try eating an egg at breakfast or a protein drink a couple of hours after breakfast.

    Protein-rich breakfasts prevent unhealthy snacking in the evening, study finds.

    *note this study was funded by beef and egg boards but is valid research in my opinion.

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    RECIPE: Healthy Brownies

    I’m loving the look of these and hoping to make them very shortly!

    RECIPE: Healthy Brownies.

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    Tasty 100 calorie snack

    I’m hungry today so looking for flavour. This fits the bill!


    Rice cakes x 2 Ricotta cheese spread x 30gm Cherry tomatoes x 5 Red onion x 1/4 Pepper 100kCal Yum!!


    Tasty Little Numbers – Review & Competition

    Recently I received an exciting package with some very tasty little numbers indeed 🙂 As a Nutritionist and semi-recent mother trying to slim down (again!) I was intrigued when I came across Jo Beach’s products. Branded as ‘Tasty Little Numbers’ they are real food in smaller portions and in whole calorie numbers. Great, I thought! Jo was then kind enough to send me some samples to try.  Tasty Little Numbers delivery

    I was kind enough to try them 🙂 These are better than any ‘diet’ food I’ve tried. The simple reason for this is that diet food almost exclusively has these characteristics:

    • Fat content removed – this removes the texture or ‘mouth feel’
    • Thickeners are added to improve texture. If you have ever eaten gluggy tomato pasta base or coconut milk for example then you know what this glugginess feels like – it is due to thickeners such as xantham gum or corn starch. It’s revolting and yet contained  within a lot of foods.
    • Sugar content is removed – this is then replaced with artificial sweeteners that are carcinogenic and taste…well nothing like sugar (there are exceptions to the health-cancer link such as Stevia).
    • Flavours are minimal – for some reason the theory is that if you are dieting/slimming/mindful of calories you don’t want flavour.

    So you end up with reconstituted flavourless mash that is unsatisfying. While there is a place for meal replacements and diet ready-meals I don’t know many people who can sustain eating them, due to lack of flavour and ‘foodiness’, and hence fall off the diet-wagon. Instead the concept of a portion controlled meal or snack that can be eaten without having to think about the portion size or calculate the calories is appealing.

    What exactly are they?

    The range is made up of:

    • Chocolate = 100 kCal/bar
    • Crisps = 100kCal/bar
    • Snack pots = 200kCal/bar
    • Meal pots = 300kCal/bar

    I tried the milk chocolate and white chocolate, cheese and onion crisps and chicken tikka masala. Tasty Little Numbers

    The chocolate bars are a wafer (wheat and corn flours) coated in chocolate. They are a decent size so you have quite a few bites to realise you are eating something and to savour them. If I were being fussy I would prefer they were rice flour wafers however these aren’t low allergenic foods and the chocolate is Belgian after all. Lip-smackingly good!

    Cheese and onion crisps are crunchy and full of flavour – melting and snapping at just the right moments. Exactly as crisps should be.

    Chicken tikka masala snack pot was delicious. The chicken and rice are cooked well maintaining form, complemented by a delectable mix of intense spices.

    Following my basic dietary rules of:

    • Keep it simple – adding your calories together is easy peasy
    • Make it tasty – full of flavour
    • Savour it – actual food you can enjoy…

    …these tasty little numbers hit the spot. Have a snack or meal without stressing about the calorie counting. It’s all there in black and white added up for you.

    Products contain no colourings or flavourings. Further nutritional information can be found here.

    To win a month’s supply of Tasty Little Numbers Chocolate Bar’s for yourself please enter your details below and share on facebook or retweet:

    *Products were supplied as samples but I was not paid for this review. My review is an honest opinion. Emma

    * Entry open to UK residents only.

    * Winner will be drawn by random web generator.

    Happy new year feast!

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    Sliced gherkins, lightly sea-salted popcorn (no butter), olives, onions and some Xmas hamper bites that are more calorie-laden than our whole new year meal!