Having two young and very active boys means that I am always racking my brains to think of different snacks to keep their hunger at bay. Snacks play a key role in boosting children's energy between meals whilst also providing extra nutrition.Children’s tummys are small and get full quickly and with all the energy your child uses he/she may not be able to eat enough at a meal to keep their energy levels topped up until their next meal.
So what are some good snacks for our children?
For my children fruit is always the first snack choice but often this isn’t enough to fill them up so 10 minutes later they come back asking for more food. We all know fruit is healthy, a source of anti-oxidants, high in fibre etc but it is also low in calories, fat and protein. Active children need the calories and fat but not the added sugar that is found in many marketed snacks.
Below is a list of both portable snacks for when out and about and for when at home:
· Oatcakes/crackers/breadsticks with hummous
· Apple slices and cheese cubes
· Chopped nuts
· Peanut butter on rice cakes/bread/crackers
· Carrot +/- cucumber sticks and hummous
· Yogurt with chopped fruit
· Plain scone/brioche
· Pitta bread
· Eggy bread
· Canned fruit (in juice)
· Slices of toasted pitta bread with soft cheese
· Plain popcorn
· Breakfast cereal (ideally wholegrain and with or without milk)
· Homemade smoothie using fresh/frozen fruit, yogurt and milk.
Below is a recipe that I recently tried out in my kitchen that a) contains wholegrains b) fruit c) nuts and d) protein. It is a flapjack style oat bar that could be offered as a “breakfast-on-the-go” for those mornings when time vanishes, as a snack or pudding with extra fresh fruit.
- 100g dates and 50g semi-soft apricots - chopped
- 50g walnuts (chopped)
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 150g oats
- 60g ground almonds
- 2 mashed bananas
- 100g low sugar and salt peanut butter
1. Heat dates in a saucepan with a few tablespoons water until soft and then mash (you may need to add more water)
2. Heat peanut butter gently in a pan and then add oats, almonds, apricots, walnuts,seeds and mashed banana
3. Add dates and stir well
4. Spread into greaseproof paper lined baking tray and press down firmly
5. Bake at 160 for @20 minutes
6. Remove and leave to cool completely before cutting into squares