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Snack Smart - Healthy Snack Ideas for young children

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Toddlers and young children require small regular meals so snacks are an essential part of their diet. They have small tummies and fast metabolisms so they need to eat little and often to keep the fuel tank from running on empty. This typically equates to breakfast, lunch and dinner with one snack in the middle of the morning and another in the mid afternoon.

Plan ahead and take snacks with you if you think that you will be out and about for an extended period of time.  Better to be safe than sorry!  Most snacks are easy on the go, it is just a matter of being organised and portioning them out into appropriate serving sizes at home.

I know that it can be a challenge coming up with new ideas.  Here are some healthy snack ideas for keeping children's appetites satisfied and energy levels up.

  • Mini quiches or fritattas in mini muffin tins - make in a batch and freeze.
  • Handful of Mini Pretzels.
  • Cubes of Edam cheese and pineapple pieces on sticks.
  • Devilled eggs: hard-boil eggs and allow to cool. Slice in half, remove yolks, mash with a dollop of reduced-fat mayonnaise or yoghurt, a dash of mustard and vinegar. Mash then return to egg white.
  • Fill celery sticks with 2 teaspoons peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese.
  • Slice of Vogel’s Fruit toast with 1 teaspoon peanut butter.
  • Homemade scroggin - dried fruit, nuts, seeds.
  • A bag of mini bagel bites (lots of flavours available).
  • A small bag of rice crackers – lots of kid friendly options available.
  • Little kids bread sticks – again lots of options available.
  • Rice cakes lightly spread with ricotta or light cream cheese and vegemite or fruit spread.
  • Mouse Traps: Marmite toast with cheese melted on top.  These can be made ahead of time and served cold.  Just as yummy!
  • Carrot sticks (and other vegies) with humus, guacamole or cheese sauce for dipping.
  • Popcorn - pop or own or you can get prepackaged options from the supermarket.
  • A glass of milk - add a bit of flavoured powder if you need to.

  • Anchor CalciYum dairy food.
  • Freeze half a banana, dip in apricot jam, and coat in chopped nuts and a little coconut.
  • Small pottle of yoghurt.
  • Handful of chunky cereal like mini fruit-bix.
  • Healthy French toast: dip fruit toast slice in egg, fry in an oil-sprayed pan, serve drizzled with 1 teaspoon honey.
  • Apple/banana/blueberry/ carrot mini muffins.  Make in batches and freeze for convenience.
  • Fruit toast (or bread if out and about) with a thin spread of ricotta or cream cheese.
  • Muesli bars – homemade ones can be good.  Or if store bought Muesli Bar - check the sugar content.  Opt for options that have less than 600kJ, 5g or less of fat and less than 10g sugar per bar (Mother Earth fruit bar is a good option)
  • Creamed rice - pre-portion into a container to avoid the can issue if out and about.
  • Sandwich pikelets (home made or bought) together with jam.
  • A slice of banana and prune loaf with a thin spread of cream cheese.
  • Mini bagels split & sandwiched with chocolate hazelnut spread.
  • Mini boxes of raisins or mixed fruit.
  • Frozen yoghurt - portioned into a small container & frozen the night before.
  • Whip up a smoothie with milk, banana, oats, low-fat yoghurt smoothie sweetened with a little honey.
  • Homemade ice blocks made with equal quantity fruit juice and yoghurt.
  • Mini pizza’s – half a muffin split topped with tomato, ham and cheese.
  • Chopped up fruit with a sweet yoghurt dipping sauce.  Or fruit kebabs: thread chunks of seasonal fruit on kebab sticks. Serve with low-fat yoghurt as a dip.

Check out some of our other articles here.