Have you ever been frustrated with your child because he or she just wants to eat snacks and refuse to have the proper three meals a day? Good snacking habits may not be all that harmful if your child snacks on the correct types of food.
People tend to snack because they feel hungry or the urge to eat something even after having a full meal. This is often because the food that we put into our bodies is not appropriate enough to keep our energy level high; hence we feel the need to keep eating to refuel ourselves. Healthy snacking could solve the problem.
When your child is growing up, his or her body may require more nutrients to grow. Cultivating good snacking habits can satisfy hunger while getting all the nutrition that your child needs.
How to tell if a snack is healthy
Most parents would know that snacks like nuggets, fries and chicken wings are unhealthy. But do you know that not all things that are natural and pure are healthy? Fruit juice, cereal and energy bars may seem and sound like healthier snack options but are in fact high in sugar and calories. It is important to check the nutrition information on the food label before grabbing a box of snack with packaging that says “low fat” or “low sugar”, as some products tend to compensate for the lowered fat or sugar by increasing something else that may not be healthy.
Fruits and vegetables are the safest bet to healthy snacks. But they are definitely less attractive than the usual potato chips and chocolates. Here are some healthy and creative snack ideas for you to prepare for your child:
Place fresh juice or fresh fruits in an ice tray or ice mold and freeze them. These homemade popsicles are healthier alternatives to ice cream and ice pops that are full of artificial colouring and flavouring.
Yoghurt is a healthy snack for children if you make the right selections. Kids may not like plain yoghurt because of the sour and creamy taste but you don’t have to avoid all flavoured yoghurt because they can be as healthy as plain yoghurt. The best yoghurt includes real fruit and minimal artificial colouring and ingredients. You don’t have to avoid yoghurt that comes with flavours but choose one that has no or low artificial flavourings.
Instead of the usual chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, snacking on cookies can be healthy if made with the right ingredients. As some children may not like to eat fruits in their original form, sneaking in some of these fruits into their favourite munches would help them to get the nutrition that they need. Banana is also naturally sweet and easy to blend so you can cut down on the amount of sugar used in the cookies.
Baked Potato Chips or Fries
Potato chips and fries are generally unhealthy because of the amount of oil and salt used to make them tasty. Substitute the frying with baking and you can turn these potato snacks into a healthier option. They are also easy to make as you just have to shred or cut fresh potatoes into the optimal sizes and place them into the oven!
Mini Muffins or cupcakes
Muffins and cupcakes are handy snacks that are easy to eat on the go. However, they can be high in sugar content especially the fancy ones with icing and frostings on top. Muffins and cupcakes can be made healthy by switching chocolate chips, candied fruits and nuts with healthier crunches such as chia seeds, pine nuts and real fruits. The texture and crunchiness would still be there and your child can indulge