5 quick, easy and healthy snacks for kids
It can be a constant challenge trying to dream up new and exciting things for your kids to eat.
The general rule is that the healthier it is, the harder to prepare and the harder it is to get them to eat it. You needn’t despair however, some of the old favourites are quick and easy to prepare and very nutritious. Here are five healthy snacks for kids.
Baked beans on toast
You don’t have to feel guilty about serving up beans on toast to your children when they’ve a gap that needs filling. Beans are actually one of nature’s super foods that we’ve been eating all along. No wonder generations were reared on the humble baked bean. Not only are they a rich source of protein and amino acids, but they are high in fibre and if eaten as part of a balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. They’re easy to cook and delicious. Kids are already familiar with baked beans, but why not get them to pour them from the tin into the pot before heating? Look at alternative ways of serving them rather than the traditional beans-on-toast method. Place the beans in a ramekin in the centre of the plate and serve with soldiers of toast laid around. Baked beans are actually a really versatile ingredient and can be added to just about anything, soup casserole, or served up with a baked potato are just some of the ways you can a lot more out of the humble baked bean.
Originally known as Welsh Rabbit, it is a traditional meal of the Welsh Valleys is a delicious, hearty and nutritious meal for kids. There are many variations on the theme, but almost all of them contain butter, milk and cheddar cheese. Simply melt a knob of butter in a small pot on a low heat. Then add a splash of milk. You can thicken the mixture with flour if you wish or leave it as it is. Keep the heat low, the milk should never boil, add grated or chopped cheddar cheese and allow to melt. In the meantime toast some whole wheat bread and butter the slices. When the cheese sauce is nice and runny, pour it onto the toast and allow to cool. It will form a stringy, cheesy topping that kids will just love. Cheese contains a host of nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin B12, and while you shouldn’t eat it every day a welsh rarebit is a delicious, nutritious snack tried and kid-tested for generations. Serve with Worcestershire sauce.
Poached egg on wholemeal toast
Eggs are highly nutritious and are packed full of vitamins and protein. The contain amino acids in the right proportions and more importantly they’re yummy. The great thing about eggs is that they’ll fill them up, satisfying them for longer and making it less likely the kids will be snacking later on crisps. To poach an egg, simply bring a pot of water to a simmer and add a splash of vinegar. With a wooden spoon stir the water so that it’s swirling, then crack the eggs into the water. Watch them carefully and when they’re set, scoop them out. Serve on top of buttered whole wheat toast. Instead of salt and pepper try a shake of white malt vinegar on top.
It can be impossible trying to get kids to eat vegetables, but try letting them spear chopped peppers, cherry tomatoes and courgettes onto a wooden skewer. Brush with olive oil, season with pepper and place in the grill on high heat on grease proof paper. Keep an eye on them and turn when the veggies are sizzling.
Pasta salad with feta cheese and sundried tomatoes
Make a big pot of penne or fusilli pasta and allow to cool. When the kids are hungry, simply chop up some feta cheese and crumble it in, add some finely chopped sundried tomatoes and a glug of extra virgin olive oil. If your kids are adventurous you could add a few torn basil leaves, or halved cherry tomatoes. It’s a perfect summer snack/meal, with simple flavours in the right combination. Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates and fibre, Selenium and Manganese while the feta cheese is lower in calories and fat than many other cheeses. The sundried tomatoes are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.