Healthy snacks to make with the kids this summer
Kids are obsessed with snacks. The constant refrain, ‘Can I have a snack?’ can seem never-ending. But snacks are important, they can keep hunger at bay between meals and can be a good source of nutrition. The problems begin, however, when snacks lead to main meals being left uneaten or when the go-to snacks are junk food options. Younger kids need three main meals and at least two snacks per day whereas older children require three meals and usually just one snack (unless they’re particularly active or going through a growth spurt). Treating snacks as mini-meals and ensuring they’re made up of high nutrient food will let your kids get the most out of them without spoiling their appetites.
This summer involve your kids with the snack prep, they have fun making the snack and are far more likely to eat it when they’ve made it. One fun option is edible jewellery. Use the end of a straw to safely bore holes into the fruit (soft fruits like strawberries and melon is particularly effective for this). Then, thread the fruit ‘beads’ onto pieces of string, drape around the neck and you have a portable snack ready to go! Encourage speedy eating here as it can get sticky. With younger children this is also a great opportunity to sneak in a bit of learning as you can create repeating patterns with your fruit beads. If you’d like a slightly less sticky version of this, certain cereals including ‘Cheerios’ thread easily too.
Another idea if a healthy twist on the ever-popular nachos. Introducing: apple nachos. Simply de-core and slice the apple into thin pieces. Arrange on a plate and then drizzle with a little peanut butter and perhaps a little chocolate too. You could set the kids an art project by chopping a selection of fruit and vegetables up and asking them to create their best vegetable scene. This is a great one as it is almost mess-free, keeps the kids engaged and allows you to sneak a healthy snack their way too.
Presentation is key when it comes to food and children are no exception to this rule. Create ‘ants on a log’ by chopping celery lengthways, filling with peanut butter and arranging raisons on top. What are you waiting for? It’s snack time – as it always seems to be!