13.APR.2017 7 MIN READ | 7 MIN READ

If you have children, you’re surely no stranger to snack time. An important part of a child’s diet, snacks serve to manage hunger, fill nutrient gaps, and boost their well-being (if you choose healthy snacks, that is!).

Preparing healthy snacks daily can be a challenge. On some days, you may find yourself struggling to serve up a decent snack. Fortunately, snack time doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, snacks can be healthy, simple, and fast to prepare. Dietitians of Mount Elizabeth Hospitals suggest some fuss-free snack ideas such as:

  • Crackers or bread with melted cheese – To make it healthier, opt for wholegrain crackers/bread and low-fat cheese.
  • Egg sandwich – Similarly, opt for wholemeal bread. To delight your child, cut the bread into fun shapes!
  • Cereal with dried fruits and nuts – This is best served to older children as there is a risk of choking in younger children.
  • Fruit with dip – Apples and peanut butter go great together!

However, if you find yourself needing an afternoon activity to engage your children, involving them in the preparation of their snack will both entertain and educate them. A great bonding activity, it can spark their interest to try out food that they’re not usually interested in.

Here are 5 simple dietitian-approved recipes which you can try with your little (or not-so-little) ones. Assign them tasks that are within their means!

Ricotta blueberry banana crackers

Ingredients:
4 thin crackers
1½ tablespoon of fresh ricotta
1 small banana
2 tablespoons of blueberries

Method:
1. Peel and slice the banana.
2. Spread the ricotta evenly on the crackers.
3. Top with banana and blueberries.
4. Serve and enjoy.

(Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au)

Fruit yoghurt parfait

Ingredients:
½ cup of low-fat yoghurt
½ a small banana
½ a kiwi
2 tablespoons of plain cornflakes

Method:
1. Peel and dice the kiwi.
2. Peel and slice the banana.
3. Spoon 2 tablespoons of yoghurt into the bottom of a glass.
4. Add the banana and kiwi into the glass.
5. Add the remaining yoghurt.
6. Top with cornflakes.
7. Serve immediately.

Alternatively, you can freeze the snack after step 5. Top with cornflakes immediately before eating for that satisfying crunch. 

Oven-roasted sweet potato wedges

Ingredients:
3 small sweet potatoes
1½ tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced rosemary or thyme
½ teaspoon salt

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 450°C.
2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges.
3. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl. Toss and mix well.
4. Place the wedges on a baking sheet. Bake at 450°C for 30 minutes.
5. Serve immediately.

Fruit pizza

Ingredients:
½ a watermelon, cut vertically
1 kiwi fruit
1 small banana
½ cup of low-fat yoghurt
4 strawberries
¼ cup of blueberries

Method:
1. Dice the strawberries.
2. Peel and dice the kiwi fruit.
3. Peel and slice the banana.
4. Cut a slice of watermelon of 2cm thickness.
5. Cut the slice of watermelon into 8 equal wedges.
6. Serve immediately.

Feel free to replace or omit the ingredients in the recipe to suit your taste. For a lovely cool snack on a hot afternoon, use chilled fruits.

(Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au)

Fruit pops

Ingredients:
2 cups of blueberries, sliced strawberries and sliced bananas
2 cups of low-fat yogurt
8 paper cups and ice cream sticks

Method:
1. Place the mixed fruits and yoghurt into a blender.
2. Blend until the mixture is smooth (or as chunky as desired).
3. Fill the paper cups with fruit mixture.
4. Cover the top of each cup with a strip of aluminum foil. Poke an ice cream stick through the centre of each cup.
5. Place in the freezer for 5 hours.
6. To serve, remove the foil, turn the paper cup upside down and peel off the paper cup.

(Recipe adapted from www.allrecipes.com)

Snack time doesn’t have to be a chore. The best part about the recipes listed above is that they’re all highly customisable – feel free to omit or replace ingredients with the ones you have on hand. By exercising some creativity and patience, your children will be able to snack happier, healthier, and they will have you to thank for it.


Article contributed by dietitians of Mount Elizabeth Hospitals.

13.APR.2017