Some children naturally seem to prefer grazing to 3 square meals a day but either way, children will often look for snacks in between meals. It can be easy to but ready-made, packaged snacks but usually, fresh is best. Many bought snacks have a high sugar content and colourings etc in them. It is necessary these days to read the ingredients list of the product you are buying and learn which snacks are actually healthier than others. Words on packaging alone about low sugar and low fat, can’t be taken for granted.
If you are preparing your own snacks and sugar is an ingredient, lessen the amount or sometimes a replacement like Maple Syrup can be substituted. Many health experts these days are warning about the amount of sugar contained in our average diets.
If you consider snacks as mini-meals, it might change what you think you need to provide. Good snacks provide carbohydrates, protein, fibre, and some healthy fat and fill the gap in a child’s nutrition requirements in between meals. The WebMD site contains a good list of simple, do-it-yourself snacks which you may like to try: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/healthy-snacks-for-kids. The Taste website: (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/kids+healthy+snacks) and Kidspot (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/kids+healthy+snacks) also list some interesting healthy snacks.
Never overlook raw vegetables and something like a hummus dip (if purchased check ingredients); or simple fruit skewers with fruit in season. Snack time is another opportunity to offer some variety into your child’s diet, mixing texture, colour and taste.
Angel’s Paradise Early Education Centre’s qualified cook is well-versed in children’s needs for nutritious snacks and also in ways to tempt fussy eaters.