Healthy snack ideas
Healthy snacks can be a great opportunity to provide your child with the key nutrients they need for general health and development. Try to focus on giving snacks from the main food groups:
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Carbohydrates – bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other cereals
- Protein – meat, fish, eggs and beans
- Milk and dairy foods
We know that children in Wales are not eating enough foods from the fruit and vegetable food group. Snack are a great opportunity to give these foods either alone or in combination with another food group for example, you could try adding some fruit to their yogurt or adding vegetables to a rice cake. You could also try our Fruity Faces recipe.
Carbohydrates provide children with the energy they need to be active therefore these can be a great snack idea. But remember to make sure they do not have added fat, sugar or salt. Some carbohydrate snacks could include rice cakes, oat cakes, mini wrap or toast. You can also add some fruit or vegetables to these to boost the vitamin and minerals.
We know that protein foods can make children feel fuller for longer, while also providing a good source of iron. Some snacks could include nut butters, egg and hummus.
Milk and dairy provide children with calcium and protein, which is important for strong bones and teeth. Snacking on these foods can help ensure they are getting enough of these nutrients. You could try giving a plain yogurt with added fruit or cheese on crackers.
Less healthy snack options can often provide children with high amounts of fat, sugar and salt. Try to limit foods such as crisps, chocolate, cakes, sweets, biscuits and ice cream.
It is also important to consider how much of these our child is eating. Too many snacks can fill them up, making it less likely they will eat their main meal. As a guide you can offer 2 healthy snacks every day. Children love to be involved in preparing healthy snacks, so try getting them to spread foods and support them to chop foods.
Here are some snack ideas which include some of the main food groups:
TIP – Remember to check the label of your child’s snacks to ensure it is a healthy choice!
Sardines on toast with celery
Crumpets with soft cheese and pepper slices
Mini avocado and tomato salsa sandwiches
Oatcakes with Brazil nut butter and satsumas
Sugar in snacks and drinks video
Favourite snacks animation
The NYLO team talk about their favourite snacks.