Most of us love to snack but we know that snacking can be habit forming. If we snack on the wrong things too often we all know the consequences. When it comes to our children it can be very hard to say no when they want a chocolate bar or some other unhealthy snack. However say no we must and with that in mind we’ve put together a list of the ten best snack alternatives that allow you to say yes whilst still providing a healthy and nutritious diet for your child. The best healthy snacks for children are still tasty so don't worry too much about complaints.
10. Plain popcorn
Plain popcorn is a great snack food as it contains very few calories and when not lathered in salt, butter or toffee is actually very nutritious for you. It makes a great snack on the go or at home and will make your child think they have something less healthy even though they don’t a win all around.
9. Sugar free jelly
Sugar free jelly is one of the best snacks you can use providing you have the time to make it of course. Without sugar jelly is mainly gelatine and water so it is a great way to have a treat that isn’t going to negatively impact health. The best thing to do is to add fruit to the mixture as this is an easy way to get your child eating their five a day.
8. Low fat cheese
Whilst cheese is generally high in fats it also contains a large dose of calcium. In small amounts it makes a great snack and can be had with plain crackers for something a little more filling. Don’t give your children this as a snack regularly but occasionally won’t do any harm.
7. Plain yoghurt
Yoghurt is a great source of calcium and a very quick and easy snack to give your children. It contains essential calcium but is also low in fat and non-natural sugars making it easy on everyone and tasty too.
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate may not suit all younger palates but if your children do enjoy it, it is a much better alternative to regular chocolate as it contains much less sugar and many more anti-oxidants. Small amounts of dark chocolate make a great snack and should be encouraged as an occasional treat.
5. Dried fruit bars
Dried fruit bars have become increasingly popular in recent years as they allow you to furnish your child with fruit without the need for actually having fruit. This makes a good little trick to play on children as the bars are sweet like candy so they won’t think they are fruit.
4. Granola bars
Granola bars offer a whole package of nuts and often berries in one light snack so are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are easy to carry and though not as good as fruit and nuts in isolation offer a very quick snack. When you are looking at granola bars check the ingredients and whether there is added sugar. Try and avoid any with these additives and you will have a great healthy snack.
Nuts are full of fibre and essential vitamins and minerals so make a great healthy snack for your children. Of course you need to stay away from salted nuts as these are full of saturated fats but plain varieties are an excellent choice. Remember your child may not like a lot of nuts so get a selection and try and find one they enjoy eating.
2. Fresh fruit
Fresh fruit is full of natural sugars so it is of course a great source of energy. It is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals so you can be assured that your children are getting everything they need from it. If you slice the fruit up into small mouthfuls or pieces it is much more likely to go down well and quickly making it one of the best snacks available.
1. Fresh vegetables
Fresh vegetables are of course slightly better than fresh fruit as they contain less sugars. Though fruit sugars are natural and not as bad as processed sugars too much is still bad for you. Vegetables on the other hand mainly contain vitamins and minerals and are therefore all goodness without any drawback. If you struggle to get your children to eat vegetables cut them up in sticks and try and find healthy dips that they can eat them with to improve the flavour for their palate.