When the need for a snack arises, choose foods that will give your body lots of vitamins and minerals.

A biscuit, chocolate bar or bag of crisps will supply energy, but very little vitamins or minerals and lots of calories. As such they provide ‘empty’ calories. So try not to reach for them when you are feeling hungry.

You can buy pre-made dips including pates, hummus, guacamole from supermarkets, but do check the labels for high salt and fat contents. Choose lower fat/low salt options when available, but be careful—lower fat often means higher in sugar. Buying these tends to be more expensive than making your own, but are a great time saver.

Healthier options for snacks include:

  •  A small bowl of mixed nuts (unsalted) and dried fruit
  •  Wholegrain toast with tinned mackerel
  •  Oatcakes, hummus and crunchy vegetable sticks
  •  Chopped fruit, yogurt and a little honey
  •  Wholegrain toast and sliced banana
  •  A bowl of wholegrain cereal, milk with chopped fruit
  •  Wholemeal pitta bread & guacamole
  •  Rice cake with peanut or almond butter and sliced banana
  •  Ryvita with cottage cheese and carrot sticks
  •  A toasted teacake.

Snacking and kids…many children can often be heard declaring ’I’m hungry’. Keep the tips below in mind to try and reduce the complaining.

  •  Stick to a maximum two snacks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
  •  It may be that your children are thirsty (or bored!) rather than hungry. Try offering water or a small amount of milk instead.
  •  Get your kids to help prepare their healthy snacks—they will often be more likely to eat it if they’ve helped make it.
  •  Leave a bowl of healthy snacks within easy reach, to prevent unhealthy snacking.
  •  Experiment with healthy food. For example, frozen banana chunks make a tasty
  • alternative to ice cream or lollies and challenge a child’s perception that eating healthily means boring food.
  •  Make sure the adults and older children of the house eat healthily so they set a good
  • example so younger children will want to copy them.