Young children can find it difficult to eat large meals as they have small stomachs that fill up quickly. As they eat small amounts of food, they often get hungry between meals. Providing healthy snacks for children is one way for parents and carers to ensure the energy and nutrient requirements of children are met. It is important that parents set a good example and provide healthy snacks that are satisfying and nutritious. Healthy snacks for children should form part of a well-balanced diet.
The best healthy snacks for children are wholegrain, dairy, or fruit and/or vegetable-based. Healthy snacks for children can be based on these key ingredients. Pre-packaged items tend to cost more than a healthy snack that is made at home. If purchasing packaged snacks for convenience, look for those snacks that are the lowest in saturated fat, salt and kilojoules. Stick to items that are sold in small serving sizes or can be divided into two.
Healthy snacks for children can be easy to create at home and are convenient to have on hand for any occasion. Medibank and The Wiggles offer the following suggestions for healthy snacks that are sure to be a hit with your family.
Healthy snack ideas for children:
- Fresh fruit – cut into bite size pieces.
- Wiggles yoghurt – Great healthy snack for children as they come in small sizes for little stomachs.
- Wiggles Weetbix with a spread. Eg. Light spread of margarine and vegemite or smooth peanut butter
- Rice crackers (unflavoured is best).
- Air popped popcorn.
- Rice cakes or wholemeal crackers with cheese and tomato.
- Small wraps filled with vegemite, grated carrot and cheese.
- Half an English muffin toasted and spread with avocado and cheese
- Fruit smoothie.
- Carrot and celery sticks with a dip.
- Pikelets or small pancakes with banana.
- Pumpkin soup.
- Small tin of baked beans.
- Hard boiled egg and toast soldiers.
- Homemade muffins with added fruit and oats.
- Dried fruit.
- Small carton of milk.