We all know it. We should be constantly slicing up fresh fruit for our kids, or baking nutritious snacks for them out of sweet potato and quinoa. But let’s admit it.
Sometimes we just don’t have the time.
Anna Debenham and Alex Parker of The Biting Truth, accredited practising dietitians, say parents shouldn’t ever feel guilty about having to resort to packaged snacks.
“Obviously, as dietitians, we’re always going to recommend people make their own snacks as much as possible and use wholesome fresh ingredients like fruit and vegetables and dairy,” Debenham tells Mamamia. “However, we’re also realistic and obviously everyone’s really busy.
“There are packaged snack options for kids in the supermarket that are healthy options.”
Parker says parents should look for snacks that offer nutritional benefits, in terms of fibre, calcium, protein and wholegrains. She suggests having a read of the ingredients.
“Ideally, the ingredient list should be quite short, and they should be able to recognise most of the ingredients on that list.”
She says portion size is also important.
“We know from the stats that Aussie kids are already eating too much. The recommendation is that a snack should be less than 600kj.”
Debenham adds that parents should be aware that not everything stocked in the health food aisle is actually healthy.
“There are a lot of food and snacks in that aisle that are marketed as being a healthier option, but when it comes down to it, they’re not at all.”
Here are five snacks that Debenham and Parker say are a “good option” to have in the pantry or fridge for when you’re short of time.
1. The Happy Snack Company’s roasted chickpeas and fava beans.
“They’re in the portion-controlled packets and they’re low in sodium, which is really important when it comes to savoury snacks. They’re also really high in fibre. It’s a really good way to get legumes into kids’ diets, and they’re still quite crunchy and tasty.”