Children. For some inexplicable reason, they seem to be hungry all the time. It’s not like as if they run around all day and are still growing!
You know healthy snacks throughout the day are a great way to make sure children get all their dietary requirements. However, as a busy mum, all the food your kids seem to consume can sometimes feel overwhelming, not just for the budget, but for your time as well. Then there’s also the issue of them being notoriously fussy eaters and you find yourself reaching for processed and packaged kids’ snacks you can easily buy from the supermarkets.
Now, we’re all for time-saving tips that will save your sanity, and there’s nothing wrong with feeding your children store-bought snacks, especially when you know that works for you. But we’re also well aware that mum guilt is real and that there are plenty of highly processed snacks out there that are full of added sugar and artificial ingredients. These foods may appease the hangry monster, but hardly do anything when it comes to energy and nutrition.
So if you’re looking for kid-friendly snacks that are healthy, delicious and easy to make, read on for our list of nine different types of snacks and recipes from Gia, our resident Mums At The Table home cook.
9 snack ideas to grow healthy kids
Pack them in your kids’ lunch box or serve them as after-school snacks. However you choose to do snack time, we guarantee these healthy snack ideas for kids will keep them going throughout the day.
1. Mix peanut butter and fresh fruit
Peanut butter, or any type of nut butter, is a great source of protein, which means your little one will feel fuller for longer. And like fruit, it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for a growing body.
Try our healthy banana split, which unlike a normal one, contains no ice-cream.
2. Give them some hidden veggies
You may be wondering how to feed your kids veggies during snack time when you can’t even convince them to have the green stuff during meal times, but we have the solution. Hide them.
Our vegan sausage rolls contain healthy veggies like zucchini and carrot, wrapped in crispy puff pastry that will have your kids asking for more.
3. Swap out granola bars
While granola bars can be a convenient snack, some of them can contain way more sugar and carbs than necessary.
Why not opt for something like our apricot Weet-Bix slice, which uses wholegrain cereal and dried fruit, making it a more wholesome snacking option for your kids.
Relevant: Healthy snacks for busy mums
4. Sweet potato and chocolate chips?
Children obviously gravitate naturally towards anything with chocolate in it, and the good news is, not all of it is bad.
While store bought chocolate may be filled with added sugar, dark chocolate can be a healthier substitute, especially when sweetened by something unexpected like sweet potato.
5. Make little balls of bliss
The great thing about these balls of energy bursts is that they’re often made with nutritious whole ingredients that are excellent sources of fibre.
Some, like our beetroot bliss balls, not only look beautiful and red, they also have hidden veggies in them. And our surprise ingredient, beetroot, is filled with fibre, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C.
6. Pop some popcorn
Popcorn only becomes unhealthy when it’s buried under copious amounts of butter or caramel. On its own, popcorn is actually a good source of the antioxidant polyphenols, which have been linked to better blood circulation and digestive health.
Our homemade sweet-and-salty popcorn uses only a small amount of butter and maple syrup as sweetener, and is so easy to make at home.
You could even shake things up by making chickpea popcorn instead.
(Just be careful when giving these snacks to younger kids as they can be a choking hazard.)
7. Add some chia
They call chia seeds a superfood for a reason. One tiny serve of chia is packed with fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and a load of other great vitamins and minerals.
If your child enjoys yoghurt, they probably won’t say no to chia puddings, which are similar in texture. As an added bonus, they’re way easier to make.
8. Bake some muffins
It takes a bit of pre-planning to bake muffins, but when you do them yourself, you know it’s something you’d be happy for your child to eat as you can control what goes in.
Learn how to make them out of rolled oats instead of flour and egg with our peach muffins.
9. B is for biscuits
It doesn’t have quite the same ring as “C is for cookie” but we’re pretty sure your kids won’t complain if you serve them up some biscuits as a snack.
They may have a bad reputation for being too sweet, high fat and filled with refined ingredients, but that’s not the case with our oatmeal raisin cookie bites.
You can serve healthy snacks for kids during long car trips too
Road trips are a rite of passage for many of us, but restless little ones in the backseat can test the most patient drivers.
With some pre-planning however, you could make a road trip bearable—even enjoyable. While most of the snack ideas above also make great road trip snacks, our friends at Sanitarium have some other suggestions:
Freeze some healthy popper drinks such as natural fruit juice or UP&GO and let them slowly defrost throughout the trip. Not only do the slushy drinks fill bellies in a fun way, but they are mess-free and can also act as ice bricks for food that needs to be chilled, such as cheese sticks or yoghurt tubs.
Mix and match
Prepare a range of sandwiches with a variety of fillings that won’t spill. Cut them up into small pieces to make them last longer, pop them in a big container and give the kids a “lucky dip lunch”. Remember to use wholegrain bread to up the nutrient factor.
Make your own crunchy crisps by oven-baking some pita bread and sprinkling herbs and spices on top. Give the kids their own “pack of chips” in a mini container that they can close when they’ve had enough. You can also chop fruit or veggies into bite-size pieces that can be handled and consumed easily. Think non-stick, non-drip and non-staining such as apples, bananas and sliced grapes. Older kids who aren’t as likely to spill can dip veggies in hummus, cashew cheese, guacamole or another tasty dip.
Don’t forget the liquids! Keeping hydrated is an important part of any journey. A reusable water bottle makes younger kids feel more adult as they can refill with fresh water at each stop. A water stop is also a great reason to break up a long drive.
It’s time to try making some healthy snacks for kids
We get it. Making healthy snacks for kids can be time-consuming, but we hope you’ll find some inspiration from our recipes above. Why not make a double batch on the weekend and dish them out slowly during the week? We’re pretty confident your kids won’t be saying no.
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