Are your kids constantly hungry over the school holidays? Most children and teens need to eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day to fuel their growing, active bodies and to meet their nutritional requirements. Snacks should be viewed as another opportunity to provide extra nutrients to your children’s diet.
However, most packaged snacks such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits and crisps are highly processed, laden with sugar, salt, saturated fat and artificial ingredients.
Here are some suggestions for nutritious snacks which are quick and easy to prepare.
1. Rainbow fruit skewers
Fruit and vegetables are an important source of fibre which help keep your child’s belly stay fuller for longer and feed the good bacteria their gut. They are full of vitamins & minerals which can help protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease later in life. You can use fresh, frozen, tinned (in juice) and dried – it all counts towards their 5-a-day.
2. Hummus & crudites snack board
Hummus makes an excellent dip. It is a source of heart healthy fats, plant-based protein and fibre. It also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, and B12 vitamins. Pairing hummus with a fruit or vegetable high in vitamin C such as tomato will help increase iron absorption.
3. Rice cake topped with cottage cheese, tomato & egg
Low salt rice cakes or crackers make excellent carriers for nutritious toppings. Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium which plays a major role in tooth and bone health. It is also high in protein, low in fat and is packed with many other minerals. Other topping ideas are berries, grapes and yogurt, or peanut butter and banana, or avocado and strawberry.
4. Popcorn trail mix
Nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats, fibre and protein. All nuts contain varying amounts of minerals and vitamins so mixing them in a trail mix will ensure you get the maximum health benefits. Nuts can be paired with low salt popcorn, which is a fibrous wholegrain, and dried fruit, rich in antioxidants. This snack is high in calories so portion control is advised!
5. Yogurt pot with fruit and granola
Choose low sugar or ‘natural’ yogurt options for a dose of calcium and protein. Some yogurts contain live bacteria which is good for the digestive system. Adding oats, which are high in soluble fibre, will increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut and helps lower cholesterol.
Want further advice about your child’s diet?
Whether you are worried about fussy eating, food allergy and intolerance, or simply want to help your child build a healthy relationship with food, Gemma can help.
As a registered dietician and mum of two young children, Gemma is passionate about nutrition and loves working with children and their families to improve their nutritional intake to support and optimise growth and development.
After becoming a Cookham resident last year, Gemma established a private practice specialising in paediatrics and women’s health nutrition. For bookings and enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the website www.gemmaransome.co.uk for further information.