Some healthy back to school snacks that kids will love

Some healthy back to school snacks that kids will love

As we’re getting closer to sending the children back to school, there’s lots of preparation to be done, uniforms and shoes to buy, stock up on stationary and do some last-minute errands during the holidays!

We all care for our children and want the best for them. But have you thought about your children’s diet and what they are eating?

I know that it can be hard to keep a check of what they eat at school, especially if they have school lunches. However, I would argue that there is one category all parents can think about – snacks!

During or after school, snacks are common in most households and often consist of crisps, sweets, biscuits and cake. Often, these shop-bought snacks tend to be high in sugar, salt, fat, artificial sweeteners or unhealthy additives.

Children want to have these junk foods as often they taste good, and they then get accustomed to having sweeter, salty or fried foods. And after sometime it can become a habit and they begin to crave these foods.

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The packaging of many processed foods is colourful and appealing to children and often these products are placed conveniently by the tills or lower shelves where the children can see them easily and are tempted to have them. And of course, if having as a one-off treat these are all fine to have, but having them every day can increase your child’s risk of several health problems including tooth decay, being overweight, having low energy, etc.

I feel that by teaching children from a younger age how to eat healthier, we can improve their relationship with food, helping them to be at their optimum weight, which thereby reduces possible health risks in the future. We can also show them that healthy food can also be tasty.

And I know that you are already busy as a parent or grandparent, so spending hours in the kitchen doesn’t sound appealing.

With this in mind I am sharing five healthy and tasty snack ideas that are quick to either make or to buy:

Smoothies / Iced fruit lollies

Smoothies are a great way to disguise some fruits and vegetables, quick to make and will keep your kids full. On hot days why not put them in ice lolly moulds and have as a frozen snack. A much healthier alternative to ice cream and sodas.

Fruit and nut butter

This is a great snack to satisfy those with a sweet tooth! Simply just cut up some fruit and serve with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter. It's crunchy, has just natural sugars and is satisfying.

Oat cookies

These are a low sugar alternative to shop-bought biscuits. Tip: to save time, make them in batches and even with your children as a fun activity. Some dried fruit or chocolate chips may also be added. Oats are a whole grain that are a good source of both protein and fibre.

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Hummus, vegetables and tortilla

Hummus can either be bought or made at home. It’s very easy to make so again, I would recommend batch making and storing. To serve, simply have hummus with some lightly salted tortilla chips and lots of vegetable sticks. Hummus is extremely versatile and can also be used in other meals like wraps, sandwiches or salads.

Baked chickpeas

This is one of my favourite snacks, as has many lovely flavours and a great crunchy texture. Keep these ready as a perfect high protein snack which has some Indian flavours.

I hope these suggestions do give you some inspiration. Have a variety of snacks, with different flavours to make them taste good. And do try and get the children involved from a young age, encouraging them to prepare these with you or even doing it themselves!

When you have healthy snacks at home, they are more likely to eat them, especially when placed where they can easily see them.

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Sujata Din is a Certified Health Coach and Certified Professional Cancer Coach. In this regular column for iGlobal, she offers some special insights, from useful wellness tips to recipes for creations that are not only delicious but also healthy.

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