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Top five healthy kids snacks to make at home

Cooking healthy, nutritious meals for kids can be hard enough, but when it comes to snack time, that challenge can seem even greater. With an understanding of the importance and difficulty of finding healthy, eco-friendly snacks for small humans, we’ve put together a list of five easy recipes that you can make at home and have at-the-ready for hungry little ones.

  1. Healthy puree pots

    Puree pouches can be a big hit with kids, but the packaging and expense of the shop bought products can be avoided. As long as you have access to a blender or food processor, fruit and vegetable purees can easily be made at home and adjusted to pack in maximum nutrients and meet your child’s flavour preference. The best base for a puree is cooked vegetables or fruits: stewed apples, boiled carrots and baked sweet potatoes work particularly well. You’ll know what your child enjoys eating, so choosing the foods and flavours that they like to eat can help ensure that these purees will be a win – veggies they tend to avoid can be disguised behind berries or banana. For a dose of protein, add a spoonful of nut butter or tahini, and for extra vitamins and minerals, add a sprinkle of spices such as cinnamon or turmeric.

     

  2. Easy energy balls

    Easy energy balls

    Again, the only really essential element here is a food processor. Dried fruits such as dates, sultanas and figs work well as a base, combined with a small amount of coconut oil, a spoonful of nut butter, a spoonful of sweetener (rice bran syrup and molasses are great vegan options) and any other dried ingredients such as desiccated coconut, cacao powder or almond meal. Blend all ingredients until they have formed a paste, then roll into balls and place in the freezer until firm. These energy balls are best stored in the fridge, but can be taken on the go as a quick and easy energy boost.

  3. Homemade houmous

    A sure-fire winner with kids and adults alike. Whip up a batch and keep in the fridge, taking a tub on the go will keep kids fed and fuelled.

     

    Ingredients:

    1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
    1 x clove of garlic, crushed
    1 1/2 x tablespoons of tahini
    1/2 lemon – juiced
    1 1/2 x tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    Pinch of salt
    Pinch of smoked paprika

    Method:

    Blend and enjoy – take a tub on the go with carrot sticks, cucumber, celery or crackers for a simple, satisfying snack.

  4. Nutty granola

    Homemade granola

     

    High energy cereal, ready to be added to yoghurt or milk or taken on the go.

    Ingredients:

    3 cups of oats
    1/4 cup desiccated coconut
    1/4 cup flaked almonds
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup sultanas
    1/4 cup chopped dried figs
    2 tbsp maple syrup
    1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    Pinch of salt
    Pinch of cinnamon

    Method:

    Heat oven to 180oC
    Line baking tray with baking parchment
    Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl
    Mix in the oil and syrup
    Bake for 25 minutes
    Allow to cool before storing (homemade granola can be stored in the freezer to retain its flavour)

  5. Gluten-free banana pancakes

    Gluten free banana pancakes

    This three-ingredient pancake recipe gives meaning to the saying “easy as pie”. The flourless recipe makes it suitable for children who struggle with gluten and grains, and although they work well served hot, these chewy morsels stay tasty when chilled and can be a great energising snack for kids on the go.

    Ingredients:

    1 x large banana
    2 x medium eggs
    1 pinch of cinnamon
    1 tsp coconut oil for frying

    Method:

    Mash the banana with a fork
    Add whisked eggs and combine with cinnamon
    Heat coconut oil in a shallow frying pan
    Add mixture to hot oil, fry for 1-2 minutes on each side (until golden brown)

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