If you’re a parent, you’ll understand the importance of always having snacks on hand for the kids when you’re all out and about. Hunger can strike kids at any time and it’s so helpful to be prepared with healthy snacks to offer them whenever they need.
Of course it’s all about balance and every so often it’s fine for kids to have a small treat. However, the majority of their snacks should be healthy and nutritious. Snacks are a great way to ensure your kids are getting the vitamins and nutrients they need – so use them wisely!
Avoid Buying Packaged Snacks
Through the use of clever packaging and often hard to decipher nutritional labelling, it’s very easy to believe that the pre-made or packaged snacks you can buy from supermarkets, some cafes, tuck shops and anywhere in between are ‘healthy’. Don’t be fooled!
While convenient, items like cereal bars, crisps, some yoghurts and snack packs all have very high levels of either sugar and/or salt – even though they may be labelled as a ‘healthy’ snack for your child.
Your children may only be consuming these in small amounts but it can really build up, especially if they’re consuming them daily.
A much better alternative is to buy the raw ingredients for snacks in order to make your own. You can get your kids involved by taking them to the grocery store to buy the ingredients and making the snack preparation a fun activity which they can help with.
Home Made and Healthy
Making your own snacks doesn’t have to be time consuming or hard – and it can actually be a great way to reduce your grocery bill. Just think how much cheaper it is to peel and slice a carrot than to buy a bag of pre-prepared carrot sticks!
Here are some top ideas for healthy snacks which kids will love:
- Frozen fruit – Have you ever tried this? It’s a great one to have in the freezer at home for mid-afternoon energy slumps. Get a bunch of grapes, take them off the stalk and put in a Ziploc bag to freeze. Alternatively, you can freeze bananas (with the skin off) and kids think they taste like ice cream – perfect!
- Dates and Peanut Butter – This is a great one for kids as they can help to prepare it. Simply slice and de-pit the date (adult supervision required with the knife if it can’t be done by hand). Your child can be in charge of using a teaspoon to put a dollop of salt-reduced or natural peanut butter in the middle. Yum! (Just remember to check if any of the kids have a peanut allergy before sharing this snack amongst friends).
- Veggie Sticks – Go for all of the colours of the rainbow here. Cut up capsicums, carrots, celery and cucumber. Make it into a game and see who can be the first child to eat one stick of each colour. These are great for dipping too and if your kids like hummus or tzatziki, then take a pot of these with you.
- Crackers and Cheese – Plain crackers (avoid those with heavy salt) are great for filling hungry stomachs, and cheese contains calcium and protein to help keep your ever growing kids develop strong bones.
- Popcorn – You might be thinking of the sugary toffee popcorn or popcorn smothered with butter like you get in the cinema? Think again. You can quickly and easily make your own popcorn at home with organic corn kernels and kids love sprinkling on their favourite toppings – from cinnamon to parmesan cheese. Get creative!
At Stepping Stone SA, we are committed to providing nutritionally balanced meals which will ensure that your child receives 50% of their dietary intake while at the Centre.
If you haven’t met out friendly centre cooks yet, next time stop by for a chat. They are always happy to provide some recommendations for quick and healthy snack ideas for your children!