We have a hard and fast rule in our house about snacks. Healthy snacks are fine, fruit and rice cakes, that kind of thing. But if you want a biscuit or some crisps you have to put your shoes and coat on and walk to the shop and get it. The thought of making an effort to get a treat is often enough to put us off and turn to something healthier, and if you do put your coat on and go and get your treat, then you’ve earned it, enjoy it.
But try explaining that to a 5 year old. A hungry 5 year old who has to wait a few minutes to be fed is essentially a tornado of rage. The living embodiment of “hangry”.
Top tip: A hungry (hangry) 5 year old will happily eat carrot sticks and other normally shunned fruit and veg if they are hungry enough. A bag of carrot sticks to munch on the way home from school is a good way to deal with the tornado of rage and the 5 a day problem at the same time.
Having some healthy snacks on hand for when your family need a little something to tide them over is incredibly useful. I’ve picked out some healthy snacks which we enjoy at home.
1. More Cheese Please!
Cheese is in the small boys top 3 favourite foods, we always have a handful of Babybel in the fridge. It’s easy for me to slip a couple in my pocket for him to munch on the way home from school and I don’t mind him snacking on cheese because it’s full of calcium and other good stuff.
2. Fruit Bowl Snacks
We discovered Fruit Bowl about 6 months ago and the boy has been enjoying sprinkling their fruit flakes on his yoghurt ever since. The Fruit Bowl peelers and school bars are great little snacks for nibbling on the way home from school, contain no added sugar and count towards your five a day.
Yes really. Sometimes you really NEED something sweet and often a couple of small pieces of good dark chocolate is enough to satisfy your craving. Of course my son won’t even contemplate dark chocolate, but having some small individually wrapped pieces of good chocolate, like these from Drop Dead Chocolates is enough to stop you accidentally devouring a 1kg bar of Dairy Milk. Sometimes.
4. Stick the kettle on
Sometimes you can feel hungry but you’re just thirsty. I always give the small boy something to drink and have water freely available to him. If I’m feeling especially hungry I find a nice cuppa can fill the gap for an hour or so, or sometimes I’ll have a glass of juice which I usually add a splash of water to so it is slightly diluted, but that’s a personal preference.
I do enjoy drinking aloe vera juice and I’ve tried for a while now to have a small glass of aloe vera juice on a daily basis. It’s not for everyone in the same way that orange juice with bits in isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth trying if you like the sound of the many health benefits of drinking aloe vera.
The aloe vera juice from Grace Foods UK contains 50% less sugar than other brands I’ve tried. These handy 500ml bottles (I drink 100ml per day) are available in three flavours, Original, Strawberry and Mango and contain real aloe vera pieces. They are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, with Original and Mango containing 100% RDA of Vitamin C. It’s available from a wide range of retailers including Tesco and Waitrose. I love aloe vera juice, I think it’s very underrated.
5. Rice Cakes and peanut butter
This may seem very dull indeed, but I always have a packet of Co-op unsalted rice cakes in my cupboard. They’re just 25 calories each and if I’m ravenous and simply cannot wait, or if I’ve no time to make myself something more exciting for lunch, a couple of rice cakes with reduced fat peanut butter are enough to tide me over until tea time. In fact the small boy is also a big fan of this as an after school snack, so we’ll often indulge together. Rice cakes are remarkably filling and contain very few calories. Trust me, I didn’t think I’d like them either.
What are your go to healthy snack choices? I’m always after munchable inspiration!