Family | Best healthy snacks for children

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Snacks are every parent’s saving grace. They starve off the hunger pangs, keep them energised and, for some, quiet for a short period of time. But what healthy snacks should you give your child?

It seems that no matter what ‘good’ food you think you are giving to your child, there is some news report saying it’s bad. It’s tough being a parent these days in the face of such conflicting and confusing advice.

And when it comes to snacking, almost everyone has an opinion on what we should be giving our children.

Sticking to unprocessed and raw foods is obviously beneficial. Children love smoothies and are a great way for packing in nutrients and two to three servings of fruit into their daily diet. Mango and banana, for example, is a popular favourite. Mix the surplus yogurt with berries and granola is another child-friendly favourite.

Have a bowl of strawberries in the fridge. These protein and vitamin C rich fruits are great for their diet, and easy to prepare. To add an extra healthy option, add whole wheat crepes.

Instead of crisps, toss together a healthy combination of nuts, pretzels, whole grain cereal and banana chips as an alternative. Nuts contain must-have minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Healthy popcorn is another good alternative.

Raisins are another healthy and tasty snack that are packed with fibre, potassium and vitamins.

Children love biscuits, and especially cookies. Unfortunately, shop bought cookies are full of sugar and other ‘bad’ ingredients. There are plenty of recipes available for low-fat oatmeal cookies with the opportunity to add in healthy items such as raisins, cranberries, nuts or dried apricots.

Aim to only give your child a maximum of two snacks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.