Healthy Snacks for our Kids (Give me some ideas…please?!)

Home Heart Harmony Healthy Snacks for our kidsWell, I feel I have overloaded on the home decor posts of late (not that I could personally ever do that but I fear not everyone feels the same way!) It’s high time I posted about something different and there is an issue that has been on my mind this week – healthy snacks for our kids!

I read, as I’m sure many of you did recently, that the World Health Organisation has confirmed that processed meats – such as bacon, ham and sausages – cause cancer. I knew that there had been suggestions of this in the past, and because of this, we don’t eat a huge amount of processed meat but it did cause me to question (once again!) exactly what we are putting in our bodies and how I can balance the needs of two extremely fussy eaters, with what they will actually consent to eat!!

Home Heart Harmony Healthy Snacks for our kids

Our children did not have the best start to their relationship with food. They both suffered horrendous acid reflux as babies – first the milk they drank and then the food they ate caused them severe pain, gagging and spectacular vomiting which persisted well into toddlerhood. It did not lead them to develop a happy relationship with meal time and as a result, (unsurprisingly) they both became extremely fussy about what foods they were prepared to put in their mouths. It also made mealtimes a very negative experience even though we tried so hard for that not to be the case.

Now that they are older, we have obviously had time to work through most of these issues and both children eat a fair variety of foods (though the list of things they both like is extremely limited – I often think that at some point, they got together and split the entire list of foods in existence between them, agreeing that one would like one half and the other the rest!) They are however, both healthy and happy and they no longer see meal times as something to be avoided. As a result of all this, neither of the children has a particularly large appetite so they don’t eat large meals and I am reluctant to force them to continue eating after they are full. I am aware that eating more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day is a better way to stay healthy than eating fewer, larger meals so I feel that since this is their preference anyway, it’s fine for them to do this. The problem I have is in finding healthy ‘snacks’, which are also filling, not full of salt or sugar but things which are appealing so that the children are motivated to eat them.

I imagine I am not the only Mother on the planet struggling to come up with ideas for healthy snacks that will appeal to her children and with this in mind, I thought it might be useful to share some ideas here of things that might win the seal of approval with your families and mine!

I thought if I shared with you a list of all the snacks we currently offer our kids to keep them from reaching for the biscuit tin, you lovely people might share some ideas with me in return?! I need the inspiration! I really do…

Home Heart Harmony Healthy Snacks for our kids

So, in the spirit of sharing, here is a list of snacks that we consider ‘o.k’ to give the children between meals. The list is limited by the items they will eat and it should be noted that by no means do both children consent to eat all of the items on this list!

  • Rice Cakes
  • Fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Cereal and milk
  • Wholemeal pitta pockets with cheese
  • Plain Crackers with butter or cheese
  • Natural greek yoghurt with honey
  • Plain Popcorn
  • Vegetable sticks and hummus
  • Toast
  • Boiled egg with toast soldiers

See? I said the list was short! There are plenty more things I could think of but sadly, my children won’t eat them! I should probably also say, that I realise cheese and butter aren’t exactly ‘healthy’ but at least they are good for their bones and teeth! In terms of ‘un-healthy snacks’ you can bet my kids are as keen as the next to get their fill of biscuits, crisps, ice-cream and chocolate. And sometimes, letting them have it seems like the easy option – but I’m trying (and this post is evidence of that!) to limit the number of times in a week that this happens!

So, now it’s over to you. What snacks do you give your kids (aside from those on the list above) which are both reasonably healthy and well-received?! You can comment here on the blog post, as well as on Facebook. Please also feel free to tag me on twitter using @homeheart3h or email me at homeheartharmony@yahoo.com.  I will then write another post sharing with you all the ideas I have received so that we can all benefit from our pooled suggestions. Come on, don’t leave me hanging…..

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24 comments

  1. Kat @ Eat.Love.Live says:

    I love a home decor post!
    Although they are no good for my credit card eeek! I love your photography in this post. It’s lovely.
    I have a fussy monkey too so we rotate a lot of the smacks you have mentioned. I also like to do big batches of baking and freeze for convenience. Things like vegetable fritters and healthy savoury pancakes. They always go down a treat x Kat #twinklytuesday

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Thanks Kat. I am always intending to do some batch cooking at the weekends and never seem to quite get there. I really must get on that! The savoury pancakes sound like a great idea – my youngest is all about the savoury! Thanks so much for the suggestions. xx

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Do you know, I don’t think I have ever suggested they try avocado! Which is so silly because I love it myself! I will definitely give it a go. My daughter has recently discovered a love of BLT’s so adding a bit of avocado to that might be a plan. Thanks so much for the suggestion! xx

  2. Talya says:

    This is a great list – don’t beat yourself up about the fact they won’t eat lots of other stuff. You’re lucky they even eat the above! My daughter is much the same but one day they will have a broader range (we hope!). Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Hi Talya, I’m sure you’re right. They will expand their food horizons as they grow. When I think about all the things I used to hate when I was younger, I love lots of them now so there is hope!! xx

  3. Lucy at occupation:(m)other says:

    My list is very similar, except my little boy (although incredibly fond of fruit and vegetables in a vague ‘we’re just friends’ way) won’t eat raw veggies or raw fruit. He’ll eat them all cooked but it’s tricky. Ok, I have made muffins in the past with some success…there are some really simple recipes for some yummy ones that get lots of healthy stuff in. I like cheese and leek best. Alice at Nipper and Tyke has a recipe for some carrot and courgette and cheese ones which is the same base recipe but different ingredients. Good for snacks.
    Also success this week has been in the form of ice cream! My son loves ice cream and if you cut up a banana and put it straight into a freezer bag into the freezer, all you have to do is take it out, whizz it up quickly and serve. Slightly more melty than conventional ice cream but otherwise same consistency and yummy. And fruit. The same works with other fruit too.
    Look forward to reading your post with all the ideas, I need all the help i can get it feels like! #coolmumclub

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Thanks so much for all those great suggestions Lucy. I really do need to get onto the muffins thing. My son made some at school and now that I think of it, they did go down well and they are more filling than a lot of the less healthy options. XX

  4. Lara says:

    Snacking is an issue with my three year old son. He just wants to snack all afternoon and then not eat his dinner. I struggle with what to give him! You mention dried fruit but I find dried apple rings are good as they are naturally sweet. My son also has pistachio nuts (shelled) but this would depend on the age of the child. #sundaystars

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Yes, my two also like the dried apple rings. They are gradually trying more nuts but I can’t imagine either of them ever eating a handful! I loved nuts at their age and they are one of my favourite things to eat so I can’t understand it! My two are 12 and 9 now so they are a lot better than they used to be but still need a further shove in the right direction. Sadly, I think once they start having more control over the food choices they make (ie. days out shopping with friends and snack machines at school) healthy eating becomes an issue all over again! Thanks so much for the ideas xx

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Oooh yes! I forgot about breadsticks! They used to be a favourite around here but I think the children had enough. They would probably go for them again now we’ve had a break. :-)

  5. Sugar&Rhubarb says:

    We have real issues with feeding our eldest and I swear it’s down to her reflux as a baby! I make a no sugar banana bread (recipe on my blog) at the beginning of every week as a sweet treat for her, I also make crustless quiches, cheese straws and oatcakes with nutbutter
    #SundayStars

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      The no sugar banana bread sounds like a great idea. My daughter is especially keen on bananas so that might be a great one for her. Cheese straws are also something I used to give them when they were younger – they loved them and I can’t imagine why I’ve forgotten about them!! Thanks so much for the great suggestions xx

  6. becca farrelly says:

    Aww it sounds like you have quite a hard time! We are very lucky that our toddler pretty much eats anything and everything. Saying that though, iam always beating myself up about what snacks to give her, she loves plain crackers, rich tea biscuits and kiddilicious do lovely banana and apple snacks which she loves! :)

    #SundayStars

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Food is such an emotive issue isn’t it? When my kids eat something reasonably healthy, it gives me a real buzz! My two used to love most of the ‘Organix’ kids snacks and our son ate the carrot crisps over any other type of crisp until about a year ago (when he was 8!! – Don’t tell anyone!!) Then he decided it was very uncool to be seen eating ‘baby crisps’ and won’t go near them now. In fact, I was so desperate for him to carry on eating them, for about a year, we made up a story about a baby cousin we were buying them for just so he had an excuse on hand if he should bump into any of his friends at the supermarket!! (The baby’s name was ‘Monty!!’ Is that weird?! Actually, don’t answer that!) 😉 xx

  7. Paula says:

    Wow I’m impressed with you ladies, what great ideas. My 3 year old hilariously will pick out anything that vaguely resembles fruit and discard it. I tried to smuggle banana through by blitzing it with milk and a smudge of cocoa powder as a “choc” milkshake, but no luck. The only dried fruit she’ll countenance is mango – I mean honestly- not even raisins. What child doesn’t like raisins!! I am clinging to the wise words in these comments that they grow out of it and get less fussy. Here’s hoping. I do find that bizarrely what they eat with increased acceptance. Cocktail sticks make cheese chunks really good fun!

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Hang in there Paula! You are definitely not alone! Why are young children so clever when it comes to food?! It’s a mystery. Cocktail sticks are a great idea. I used to do this whole thing with broccoli when mine were little pretending we were giants and the broccoli were trees. I made up a whole story about it and now, broccoli are one of the few veg they will both eat! I think there’s some mileage in it 😉 xx

  8. Everything Mummy says:

    Snacking is my children’s favourite pass time, I try and make them some healthy muffins when I get the chance they love those agree with all your suggestions too its hard trying to come up with fun new healthy snacks isn’t it. Also I think cheese and butter are absolutely fine kids need those good fats they have in them. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      You are so right, I’d rather they had cheese and butter than sugary things, though my daughter has such a sweet tooth, she is a chocoholic like her Mum 😉 xx

    • Sue Parfitt says:

      Ha ha, yes, I see your point 😉 (My kids are 12 and 9 though, I was hoping they might be slightly less fussy by now!) Thanks so much for stopping by xx

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