Healthy snacks for kids

The snack is one of the meals of the day that children generally enjoy a lot, it’s a time for sharing and also for playing, but we don’t always know what to prepare to offer them something healthy.

Children have smaller stomachs than adults and that’s why every 2 or 3 hours they will be hungry and ask for something to eat. Providing them with a healthy snack ensures they are well nourished so they can focus better, have energy to play and even maintain a good mood.

What are healthy snacks?

For a snack to be considered healthy, it must be made with real, natural and minimally processed ingredients:

  • Fruits or vegetables should not be missing in the mid-morning snack or snack.
  • Neither foods high in protein such as seeds, nuts, nut butters, vegetable spreads, hummus, tofu, and other vegetable proteins, so they fill up and stay happier.
  • In addition, depending on the time of day and the condition of each child, carbohydrates can be included in snacks; the ideal is that they are complete, such as wholemeal bread, sticks or pancakes with cereals.

To make snacks more appealing, we can innovate with shapes and colors and come up with easy ways to eat them. For example, savory muffins with shapes, skewers combined with fruit or savory with the ingredients that the children of the house like the most.

It is important to achieve a balance between good nutrition and satiety so that they reach the next meal, dinner, without major problems.

What to offer for lunch

We can offer very young children any food at snack time, it does not have to be a special snack. They can be, for example:

  • Pieces of red fruit such as apple, pear, avocado, tangerine or blueberries; pieces of raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes cherry
  • Leftover cooked vegetables like baked sweet potato, pumpkin, or zucchini
  • Cooked vegetables
  • leftover cooked pasta
  • tofu pieces
  • vegetable dumplings
  • Leftover oatmeal or pancakes from breakfast
  • frozen peas
  • Applesauce

For the older ones, more or less from the age of three, we can offer them fruits, nuts, good quality yoghurts…, but we can also prepare healthy variants of the usual snacks because at this age they already compare to what other children eat.

  • Sandwiches with whole grain bread and vegetable proteins such as tofu slices, grilled seitan, vegetable burgers, hummus, peanut butter, chocoporoto, homemade chocolate and hazelnut cream.
  • Baked goods with whole grain ingredients such as energy bars, oatmeal cookies, whole grain cake or muffins, etc.

A sweet and salty straight line for healthy snacks

ALMOND AND CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS

healthy snacks, fruits, vegetables, vegetable shortenings, nuts, proteins, snacks, carbohydrates, wholemeal bread

Cereal bars are already a snacking classic, due to their nutritional value, duration and practicality. Therefore, we can prepare a good quantity to refrigerate and change the ingredients according to taste.

The market offers many bar options, but loaded with ultra-processed ingredients, sugars and preservatives. It is best to do them at home, it will take no more than 10 minutes.

Ingredients (4 bars):

  • 2 brown rice pancakes (or other cereal such as quinoa, buckwheat) or half a cup of puffed rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds or walnuts
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice syrup or honey
  • 40g dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter

Preparation (10 min + cooking 5 min):

  1. Crumble the pancakes with your hands so that we have some crumbs left.
  2. In a bowl, mix the pancake crumbs with the almonds and a pinch of salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the rice syrup, chocolate and almond butter and heat over low heat until well blended.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined Tupperware and press down well.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour (preferably overnight) and cut into bars.

SOCCA BREAD

Bread soca It is a type of flatbread made from chickpea flour typical in France and Italy. There it is prepared in the markets and tasted directly with the hands.

It is a very simple bread, which can be offered to children as is or to be dipped in sauces, spread on pâtés or as a base for vegetables and greens. The good thing is that chickpea flour is very nutritious, high in fiber, minerals, protein and is naturally gluten free. For the little ones it can be cut into small cubes.

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Optional: cumin, paprika, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese…

Preparation (10 min + rest 30 min + cooking 20 min):

  1. In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour with the water, salt and oil and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  3. If you have an ovenproof cast iron skillet, heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes. Then brush lightly with a little oil, pour in the batter and bake until the pastry is set and golden on the sides, about 15-20 minutes. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use a flat cookie sheet that you have on hand.
  4. To be enjoyed as is or with hummus right out of the oven, Baba ghanoush, cream cheese, avocado, vegan cheese, Tzatziki, pesto, vegetables…
  5. Bread socca It can be stored for up to 2 days in a container and heated to 200 ºC in the oven for a few minutes.

If you want to know more about healthy recipes for your children, you can find them here

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