A good snack includes a protein, a vegetable or fruit, or a wholegrain. It’s important to try and reduce the amount of sugar in snacks. The higher the sugar content, the bigger the drop in blood sugar levels that follows, which results in cravings for more energy dense sugar rich foods.
Slow release energy foods are much better options for kids, it provides them with energy that keeps going and concentration during school hours. Including fibre in their snacks allows the carb and natural sugars to be released slower into their bloodstread. Most kids don’t get enough fibre. Lots of wholegrains such as oats and multigrain foods, beans, peas, berries, fruit with skin on, etc will increase their intake.
Remember – lots of water. Just water, not juice or cordial or soft drink.
Dairy makes a great snack and allows them to reach their daily target of 2-3 serves. Cheese slices, yoghurt, or a glass of milk is perfect. Try not to combine them with main meals as the calcium can block the their absorption of iron from their food (ie meat)
Try and reduce saturated fat content in foods, basically foods from bakeries, or in packets. Our kids should get no more than 10% of their energy intake each day from saturated fats, sadly most are well over this amount.
Some ideas for healthy snacks :
- Apple slices and peanut butter
- Celery and peanut Butter
- Strawberries in yoghurt
- Cucumber slices, cheese, and whole grain crackers
- Corn and tuna Fritters
- Baby carrots and hummus or home made guacamole
- Fruit Kebabs
- Vegetable Muffins
- Parsnip fries
When i pick up the kids from school and we’re headed out, i prepare another lunchbox for them to snack on. It might have some popcorn, some apple, a grain sandwich with some nut butter, some carrot sticks and hummus, or some berries. Sometimes I’ll pack a small bottle of milk as well for an energy boost, with a low sugar flavoured sippah straw to increase the appeal.
The same goes for afternoon tea at home. Some fruit, wholegrain (cereal, bread or crackers), dairy (some milk, cheese or yoghurt) are all represented instead of a bakery item or sugary snack. It keeps their little bodies fuelled until dinner time and is a great opportunity to add some nutrients and calcium into their daily quota.
For teenagers with higher energy needs, try protein rich smoothies, wholegrain cereals (weetbix, oats), protein filled wholegrain sandwiches, toasties or wraps or sushi for afternoon tea, as well as a handful of fibre rich fruit and some protein and calcium rich dairy (cheese, yoghurt, milk).
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