Make it a fresh snack

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Make it a fresh snack encourages children, teenagers and parents to make good choices when it comes to eating between meals. Well-chosen snacks can provide the opportunity for children to get the energy and nutrients they require for healthy growth and development.

Setting good habits early in respect to snacks, can help ensure that kids get the best start to life, and do not head down the track towards diet-related diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

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Healthy kids and snacks

Did you know that a small snack between meals can assist your children to grow up strong and healthy?

If you do serve snacks, choose ones that are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals, calcium, iron and fibre. These are found naturally in:

  • fresh vegetables and fruit
  • reduced-fat dairy products
  • wholemeal or wholegrain bread, pasta and cereals
  • proteins like meat, fish, chicken, nuts, eggs and beans
  • good fats found in avocados and some vegetable oils.

It’s best to limit the foods that come in packets or boxes. When packaged food is prepared or processed, things like salt, sugar, fat, preservatives and colours are usually added and the good bits, like fibre and vitamins, are often reduced.

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Make it fresh

There’s a great, easier way to choose the best snacks for your kids.

When you shop, think ‘fresh and unpackaged’, i.e. fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products and bread; and less packaging, which usually means less added salt, sugar and fat. These types of snacks have the vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron and fibre that kids need.

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Save money and keep the kids happy

If you think fresh when choosing snacks, you can spend less money.

Although processed and takeaway foods might seem like good value, most of them don’t fill kids up for long – with less fibre to help them feel full, and more sugar, fat and salt, processed food can make kids feel hungry again really quickly.

No matter how much they eat, they never feel satisfied. So, you can actually save money by buying fresh foods and making your own snacks to eat at home or when you’re out.

Got fussy eaters? Give these tips a go

  • be patient – it can take at least ten attempts before kids will try a new food, so don’t give up in the first few days
  • heap on the praise – let them know you’re happy when they try new foods
  • be a role model – make a fresh snack for yourself, eat with your kids and benefit from a fresh way of eating
  • you choose the foods and the amount to serve, but let your kids choose how much of it they want to eat
  • have a set time for a healthy snack between the three main meals, this prevents ‘grazing’ and encourages better eating at meal times
  • teenagers will often help themselves – so stock the pantry and fridge with lots of fresh, tasty nutritious foods for them to eat.