Parents of young children know it’s best not to leave the house without a snack. Supermarket-bought snacks for kids often contain too many sugars, poor quality fats, additives, or salt. The solution is to make the snacks for the children yourself. We give your ideas.
Supermarket snacks designed for children are a comfortable option, however, they are often unhealthy. It is better to choose alternatives such as chopped fruits and vegetables, much healthier. Heartier snacks, such as sticks or muffins, can also be baked quickly at home.
Rice pancakes, sticks, cookies, pasta, smoothies, fruit juices… There is a large selection of products supposedly suitable for children. However, too often, these snacks contain too many additives, added sugars, poor quality refined fats, salt, etc., making them the opposite of what a healthy, balanced diet requires.
BEWARE OF SNACKS
By mid-morning or mid-afternoon, children don’t hurt to take a small portion of energy and nutrients. Keep in mind that their energy expenditure is usually proportionally higher than that of adults.
But if snacks are too caloric and satiating, there is a risk that children prefer to eat them and refuse main meals. Therefore, snacks only take place if the child already eats well at the main meals and has an adequate weight.
NATURAL SNACKS: FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The healthiest snacks are fruits (banana, orange, tangerine, etc.), nuts and dried fruits (walnuts, almonds, raisins, etc.) and vegetables (carrot sticks, cucumber, tomatoes, etc.). These foods can be stored in the lunch box or backpack and always have them on hand.
In younger children, accidents with round foods that can be swallowed are common. For this reason, cherry tomatoes, for example, should be cut into quarters so that they do not block the trachea if accidentally swallowed.
QUICK BAKED SNACKS YOU CAN MAKE AT HOME
You just have to choose the natural ingredients, if possible, from organic production.
- 250g whole spelt flour
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 banana
- 1 piece grated apple
- Make a dough from the spelt flour, oil, crushed ripe banana and a piece of grated apple.
- Form rolls the thickness of a finger. Bake the sticks for 25 minutes at 180 ºC in a preheated oven.
If you wish, you can “batter” them with some sesame seeds or sunflower seeds before baking.
- 85 g oats
- 1 apple, finely chopped
- 65g raisins
- 1 heaping tablespoon organically produced extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Mix the oatmeal with the finely chopped apple, add the raisins and a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil and then mix the ingredients until you get a uniform dough.
- Finally, add a teaspoon of baking soda and put the dough in muffin pans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at about 180 ºC.
BEWARE OF RECIPES WITH HONEY
You decide what flour you use when baking for children. If your child has a sensitive digestive system, you can make excellent gluten-free snacks with flours such as buckwheat, amaranth or quinoa.
But you should be careful, honey or agave syrup should not become the alternative to industrial sugar, because they are too high in fructose (in excess, this complex sugar overloads the liver). If you need to add some sweet, you can resort to xylitol or date paste.