I really would like to give a little bit of healthy carb for my kids as a snack.
There are just really a few products in the shops what I am happy to offer them knowing they tick all the boxes:
- they are nutritious,
- they are free from any additives,
- they do not contain allergen,
- and they are tasty, so kids like it.
Also it is not messy, - it is an important criteria - because some time we have our snack on the go, on the playground, on the bus, in the park...
To be honest, bread sticks and toddler biscuits are a bit boring by now.
Healthy snacks for kids?
What is on the supermarkets shelves for children as a snack?
Let's see the options.
It is not a surprise that crisps are not on my list. Never.
They are high in saturated fat and they simply do not have any nutritional value. A typical 35g bag of crisps contains about two-and-a-half teaspoons of oil. They contain - even the most innocent one - too much salt.
Even if you choose low-fat, low-salt crisps and give just a limited amount more then two times a week, you are establish a non healthy eating habit for your kids. I think it is okay to give them that low-fat, low-salt crisps occasionally, - you cannot avoid anyway, as they will find crisps on parties or in their mates' hand sooner or later. But try not to encourage them to eat this kind of snack regularly.
Oven baked savoury biscuits / crackers
This sounds better than oily crisps. The consumer assume that these products contain less fat and salt. Check the the labels before putting these into your shopping trolley, as most of them are high in salt and sugar and contain palm oil, a saturated fat what makes the product's shelf live much longer. They also contain additives, food colouring and preservatives. There are good ones, just hard to find them. Surprisingly sometimes the supermarket own brands are the best choice - like Morrisons mini bread sticks.
Well, the problem with these obvious: sugar, salt (!) and saturated fat (often palm oil). They push up the blood sugar level quickly, but that does not keep for a long time. It also takes away the appetite. When I read the nutritional information on these I am really shocked, what is in a biscuit. not to mention the empty calories.
Dried fruits can make a good snack with some dairy and/or carbs, but there is a couple of things what should be mentioned here.
Dried fruits are high in sugar, so should not be given right before bedtime.
Avoid the chocolate or yoghurt coated ones. They do not fall into the healthy category..., just check the percentage and ingredients of the coating. Yoghurt coating does not contain any yoghurt, so do not fall to the name.
Also try to avoid products containing sulphur and palm oil. Sulphur is a very often used preservative and can be allergen. For example nearly all dried apricot contain sulphur. I usually buy the Crazy Jack organic brand which does not have sulphur as preservative - the fruit itself looks a bit darker, but the taste is great.
Dried fruits - specially prunes and apricots - has a laxative effect, so it worth to limit the amount of this kind of snack for children.
This is what I usually buy for my kids, they are a safe option. Just they are a bit boring.
So here we are again, nothing can beat home made food.
You can trust me, this recipe is healthy, nutritious, budget friendly, and the kids love it.
...and the best part it is: so quick to make it. :-)
50g wholemeal flour
100g porridge oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
100g soft brown sugar
200 ml sour cream
2-3 tbsp milk
20g butter (melted)
80g coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Mix all the dry ingredients.
Melt the oil and the butter.
In a jug beat the eggs, add the sour cream and then the rest of the wet ingredients.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients, divide the mixture among 12 muffin hole and bake it on 180C until the muffins turn golden brown.