Getting kids to eat healthy food can be a real struggle all parents are faced with. Recently we read an article about the best sneaky ways of getting a fussy toddler to eat, including one mum who fed him plain gnocchi for an entire year, just so he had something in his stomach! After reaching out for your tips and stories we thought we would put together some of the best after school healthy snacks including our easy preparation suggestions.
One of the reasons kids will eat unhealthy food is because often the pre packaged stuff is on hand immediately as they run in the door, starving and ready to devour just about anything. Time is of the essence here, so if you have just a spare 15-20 minutes before the 3.30 school run, preparing something to be sitting on the bench or in the fridge as they catapult themselves in the front door will make life a little easier.
If you’ve got infants, there has been a lot of research into ‘baby led weaning’ and its benefits on having children who will not only join in at meal times, but essentially eat and try just about anything. Baby led weaning is when you skip the puree stage of eating, and move straight to letting your baby feed themselves with bite size chunks of food. It gives them a chance to explore different tastes and textures instead of moving from soft puree to hard chunks.
Talk to your kids about the different foods – where they come from, how the benefit them. The more they understand and see you eating, the more like they are to openly join in. Carrots help you see in the dark, and crusts give you curls remember?!
Fruit and veggies.
Let’s start with the most difficult shall we? Whether your kids don’t eat enough because they don’t like, or because you simply don’t prepare it, often the way it is laid out can seriously help. Having it cut up into bite size pieces makes it more visually appealing, so get chopping with your apples, carrots, watermelon, banana and anything else they like. Get creative as well! Arrange them into little designs so the kids can eat whatever art you’ve created bit by bit.
If you don’t have any allergies, and don’t mind a little peanut butter treat, fill up the middle of your celery with it. You know you’ll end up having some as well because it’s so delicious!
Try and pack as much deliciousness and nutrition into these, whilst still keeping it easy and simple for you. If you’re so inclined, cut them into some fun shapes.
A few filling suggestions:
- Ham, cheese and pickle is generally a winner. Add tomato for an extra fruit.
- Cucumber and cream cheese – sounds like a fancy high tea right? But the two completely different textures will be likely to please even the fussiest of eaters.
- Did you have a Sunday roast and have some left? Slice up the beef or chicken and add in a spread like mayo or avocado! Easy.
Crackers with cheese
A great quick hit of dairy and calcium.
Packed with energy, vitamins and fibre. They’re sweet as well, so the kids will eat them like m&m’s! Well .. hopefully.
A little more time consuming, but not much. Make a sweet one with apple and cinnamon, or add some feta and sundried tomatoes to the mixture for a savoury hit. All you’ll need is some oil, an egg, self raising flour and optional sugar.
Let us know what your kids love to eat – are we missing some good ways to get them to eat something more nutritious than a roll up?
Don’t forget to have a look at our awesome labels and lunchboxes for them to take to school!
All photos on our Pinterest.