health

6 snacks your kids might actually eat that aren't lollies and chips.

They’re healthy, and they won’t even know it.

If I let them, my children would live on lollies and biscuits. They just love them.

But sugar is everywhere, and not always in the most obvious culprits. It’s also in foods you’d never expect to find them in like cereal, tomato-based cooking sauces, and sometimes fat-free yoghurts.

I’m not saying sugar is bad – but it needs to be eaten sensibly for the sake of our health, teeth and tummies.

Here are some healthy kid’s snacks that are easy, cheap and fun.

1. Fruit faces.

Making faces out of food is the easiest, cheapest and funniest way to get kids to include more fruit in their day.

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Macleans. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

For this fruit face you will need all of your children’s favourite fruits. This particular example uses strawberries, blueberries, green apples and bananas but as you can see, it’s easy to recreate it using fruit you already have.

It’s the easiest, cheapest and funniest way to get kids to include more fruit in their day.

2. Stick it.

Here is one example of how you can make dinner time more fun for kids – just stick it instead of plating it.

And these sausage and vegetable sticks can also work as an after-school snack.

 Related: Dinner for 8 people in under one hour? Yes, it’s possible.

You will need any type of sausages and three different coloured capsicums. My kids will eat capsicum as long as it isn’t cooked, however it’s easy to change the vegetable to tomatoes or cucumbers or any vegetable they prefer.

Just think outside the box…

3. Pizza stations.

Here’s an idea – why not set up a ‘pizza station’? Leave out plenty of veggie options, and the kids will love choosing their own toppings and designing their own creations.

Related: ‘We will NOT be providing snacks or drinks’. Welcome to the world of playdate contracts.

Make sure you also offer them good pizza sauce. Combine one cup of passata with some freshly grated garlic, a teaspoon of olive oil, salt and fresh basil. They don’t have to use the basil on their pizzas but stirring it into the sauce adds flavour.

Then let the kids spread it themselves and have bowls of toppings like mozzarella cheese, olives, ham, vegetables, anything really for them to use to create their own.

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Yes, pizza CAN be healthy.

4. Bring it to life.

If your kids refuse to eat fruit, try this trick. Visit an arts and crafts store and stock up on googly eyes. Then put them on your fruit with a sign that says “Try me, I’m delicious”. It’s such a novelty they might just turn them into fruit fans.

How could they resist?

5. I can’t believe it’s not a slushy.

Kids love slushies – but they are usually laden with added sugar.

But when you make your own, you can put whatever you want in them to make them delicious. All you do is peel and freeze your children’s favourite fruits such as strawberries and bananas and apples. Then, you freeze peeled cucumbers.

Once frozen, blend it all up in a food processor, a blender, a Thermomix, and add just a touch of 100% juice until it reaches slushie consistency. Put a straw in it and watch your children drink them down.

Even better than the sugary version.

6. Yay for cupcakes.

Kids will eat anything in the shape of a cupcake, even healthier muffin and slice mixes. They think they are having a treat but if made well, their delicious cupcakes can be as nutritious as a bowl of cereal.

All you need is some pureed fruit (bananas, cooked apples, whatever you have too much of). To the pureed fruit (around 2 cups) add ½ cup honey, ½ cup orange juice, 2 cups of flour, any variety and preferably self-raising, 2-4 teaspoons baking powder depending on whether or not your flour is self-raising, ½ cup oatmeal, ¼ cup LSA or any ground nuts and seeds you’d like your children to eat, and then 1-2 cups of any milk.

Yay for cupcakes.

Stir until combined. The mixture should be thick not watery and you may need to add more milk or flour depending on how much fruit you’ve pureed and placed in there.

Then just divide the mixture into cupcake patties and bake on 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes until the tops start to go lightly brown.

T

he MACLEANS® brand has always aimed to be there to help with the dental health of the family.  Sugar is everywhere, it’s where you expect to find it and hidden in places where you don’t. Strengthen and actively defend teeth from every day sugars with twice daily brushing using Macleans Multi Action toothpaste with fluoride for Sugar Acid Protection. Find out more by visiting macleans.com.au

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