Children are busy little people – always on the run, always doing something. Snacking in between meals become essential, to help them get the nutrients needed and maintain a healthy weight. Some toddlers prefer to take small meals throughout the day, instead of the regular, three larger meals like adults.
When out and about with kids, it’s important to pack some snacks for when the need arises. Hunger and kids don’t go hand in hand, and while it may not be always easy to grab something healthy and child-friendly around town, it’s always good to be well-prepared.
Here are some tips on snacking by Supernanny UK:
• Watch out for foods which say ‘fat-free’ ‘sugar-free’ ‘low sugar’ and ‘low fat’. Check labels as these claims are made to encourage you to purchase the food, but they still may be full of calories.
• Don’t give children too many choices. Offer them the healthy food and say “Here you are”, instead of “Would you like…?”. This gives them the option to say “No”. If they are hungry and there is nothing else on offer, they will eat what you give them. Only offer healthy snacks though!
• Change the snacks each day – they will get bored with the same old chunk of pineapple!
• Be creative with the fruit and vegetables – cut them up into fun pieces.
• Be patient with your children. If you are trying to change their snacking habits, it won’t happen overnight.
• Offering your children healthy snacks throughout the day, especially fruit and vegetables, will ensure that at main meal times you don’t have to be so pushy in getting them to ‘eat everything on the plate’. Snacking on fruit and vegetable during the day is a good opportunity to supplement children’s diets as well as calm hunger pangs.
• If you combine at least two food groups in your snack, a protein and a carbohydrate, i.e. peanut butter and pita bread, you will not only give good nutrients, but it will be filling enough to tide them over until the next main meal. It’s the whole point of snacking anyway!
• Small containers and small plastic bags are also important to put the snacks in. Children like to have their own little containers.
Ideally, we would want to feed our kids with something healthy, organic and free of salt, sugar as well as preservatives. We like to pack these:
- Fresh cut fruits or dried fruits
- Vegetables such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrot, celery and bell peppers
- Homemade baked goodies such as banana bread and zucchini muffin
- Boiled eggs
- Snack mix such as a combination of nuts, pretzels, seeds, whole grain cereal, banana chips, and popcorn
- Sandwiches and bread sticks
- Cheese sticks or cubes
Just pack them in airtight containers and if need be, an ice pack to keep the food fresh. However, at moments when time is limited and we need to get out of the house as soon as possible, we find these grab-and-go snacks very comvenient:
Happy Family Organics
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