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Healthy snack tips for kids

It’s just the same for the kids too - if the snacks are there, they’ll eat them. And the ones they like best are often full of fat, sugar and salt.

Don’t try and cut out the kids’ favourite snacks all at once - just ease them, and yourself, in gently. Here are a few simple tips to start you off which they probably won’t even notice!

  • Two snacks Max: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Mums, don’t feel guilty if the kids complain - blame “Max”!
  • Keep count: keep an eye on the number of snacks you eat and you’re more likely to cut down - which is good for your kids and for your purse too.
  • Chop up the choc: cut up regular-sized chocolate bars and give them a little piece instead of a whole bar. They still get the taste but not nearly so much fat and sugar. Or use the mini, sweet-sized chocolates instead and just let them have one.
  • Thirsty instead? If your kids ask for more snacks after you think they've had enough they may be thirsty instead of hungry. Try offering them water or low fat milk (skimmed, semi-skimmed or 1%, as long as they are aged over five) instead.

My kids have been used to having as many sweets and biscuits as they like. How can I start saying ’no’ now?

It’s probably best to be honest, as long as your kids are old enough to understand. Explain that sometimes the things we like to eat aren’t so good for us and can make us ill in later life, so we shouldn’t eat too many of them

Tell them that you’re all going to try together, as a family, to eat more healthily and you’d like them to help you do this. If they feel involved in choosing and preparing more healthy snacks, and helping to decide on nutritious meals, they’ll be much more likely to stick to the new plan.

My little girl is quite a fussy eater and I can never get her to eat enough at mealtimes. She often asks for a snack during the day and I don’t want to say no because at least it’s getting more food into her.

First of all, make sure you give her small portions at mealtimes, so she doesn’t get intimidated by a big plate full of food - better that she asks for more if she does finish it. It's OK for her to snack in between if she’s not eating enough at mealtimes - the only thing to make sure of is that the snacks are nutritious and give her the vitamins she may not be getting from her meals as she’s not finishing them.

Carrot dip with crunchy vegetables, ham and tomato crumpets or any of the other healthy snack recipes in our recipe finder, are all good balanced options.

Snack swaps

We've got lots of ideas for healthy sweet and savoury snack alternatives.

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