With the minefield of conflicting information out there, it can make it hard to know what to actually give children. We asked Matt Lambert, one of our nutritionists, to share some healthy snacks that will help keep your little ones full and provide them with the energy and nutrients they need.
Parents 'misled' over kids’ snacks
A study published this month looked at the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children in the UK and explored the use of nutrition and health claims. This received a lot of media attention, with headlines such as “parents being misled over kids’ snacks”. The most surprising and concerning finding from this study was the number of products (75%) that were found to contain insufficient amounts of fruit and vegetables, despite the products claiming to contain one of the UK government’s recommended 5-A-DAY.
Given that there are a lot of products that portray themselves to be healthier, such as cereal bars, which can typically be high in sugar, it can be hard to know what foods to give children as a snack. See below for some of our healthy suggestions.
How much sugar should children have?
Sugar has got to be the number one hot topic at the moment, especially when it comes to children’s nutrition. This is not surprising as children consume more than is healthy for them. Children aged seven to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day, the equivalent of six sugar cubes. These free sugars are added to foods and drinks, and are found naturally in honey, syrups, and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and purees. Children aged four to six should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day, the equivalent of five sugar cubes. While there are no guidelines for sugar consumption in children under four, it is recommended that they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it.
All these snacks are genuinely healthy and count towards one of your child’s 5-A-DAY.
- Fruit and cheese kebabs – chop up your child’s favourite fruit and cheese, and put it on a skewer. Cheese is a source of calcium and protein, which are needed for bone development.
- Vegetable sticks with houmous – add in different veggies depending on your child’s preferences. For a bit of fun in the kitchen, why not get your children to help make their own houmous?
- Try our banana n berry ice lollies – great for warmer days
- Wholegrain sandwiches with cream cheese and cucumber – a tasty, low-sugar snack
- Rice cakes with cheese and cherry tomatoes – this quick snack provides a source of protein and calcium
- Strawberry, mint and melon salad – a perfect combination of summer flavours