Healthy snack ideas for children

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As part of National Obesity Awareness week from 8th-14th January, we’ve pulled together three healthy recipes that children will love. These recipes are all no-bake and shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to prepare.

Bircher muesli

Bircher muesli was created in 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner to improve the health of his patients. It’s an ideal way to save time in the mornings, as the recipe can be prepared in just a few minutes and left in the fridge overnight. The typical ingredients used in Bircher muesli are oats, fruit and milk (or a milk substitute) to soak the oats in. The oats are high in soluble fibre, which helps rumbling tummies feel fuller for longer.

Ingredients (serves 4)  

250ml milk (or non-dairy alternative)
Half a tsp. of ground cinnamon
100g rolled oats
1 apple
1 tbsp. dried fruit
2 tbsp. Greek yoghurt (or non-dairy alternative)
Toppings – fresh fruit

How to

  1. Chop the dried fruit into small pieces
  2. Put the oats, cinnamon, dried fruit and milk (or non-diary alternative) into a bowl and mix together
  3. Pop the bowl in the fridge overnight and let the moisture soak into the oats
  4. To serve, remove from fridge and stir in Greek yoghurt
  5. Grate the apple and stir into the mix
  6. Add a topping of your choice and serve

Fruity kebabs

Kebabs are fun to make and another easy way to help children reach their 5-a-day target. Children can mix and match different ingredients according to their tastes, although close adult supervision will be required with the use of kebab sticks! This recipe is also a great exercise for children to develop their fine motor skills as they thread each item onto their kebab stick.

Ingredients (makes 4 kebabs)

8 grapes, pitted and halved lengthways
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
A quarter of a cucumber
Mozzarella pearls (or non-dairy alternative)
Fresh basil

How to

  1. Wash the cucumber, tomatoes, basil leaves and grapes in a colander
  2. Slice the cucumber
  3. Help children thread alternating pieces of fruit, veg, basil and Mozzarella pearls (or non-diary alternative) onto the kebab stick
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Blueberry and banana smoothie

Smoothies are a great way for children to get some of their 5-a-day and are especially good for fussy eaters. Although the smoothie still contains the fibre you’d find in whole fruit, it has been pulverised by the blending process. This means that sugar from the fruit is released much more quickly into the bloodstream. Therefore, fruit smoothies should be seen as an occasional treat rather than an everyday staple.    

Ingredients (serves 4)

75g of fresh or frozen blueberries
2 ripe bananas
400ml liquid such as apple juice or water
2 tbsp. Greek yoghurt (or non-diary alternative)

How to

1. Slice the banana and pop it into the blender with the blueberries
2. Add the liquid and Greek yoghurt (or non-diary alternative)
2. Blend together until the mixture is smooth
3. Pour into glasses and serve

Advice from Public Health England when preparing fruit and vegetables for children

  • all fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before being eaten or cooked for children.

To reduce the risk of choking:

  • offer soft fruit and vegetables as finger foods to infants to begin with, and remove any skins
  • remove any stones and pips before serving
  • halve or quarter small fruit and vegetables like grapes and cherry tomatoes
  • cut large fruits like melon, and hard fruit or vegetables like raw apple and carrot into slices instead of small chunks.

For more healthy snack inspiration, the Change4Life website has lots of useful ideas. Public Health England have also published nutritional guidelines and example menus for settings which are available here.

 

 

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