Highfields' Own - - DECADENCE -

Too of­ten kids are snack­ing on food high in com­plex car­bo­hy­drates and sugar. So why not teach your chil­dren from an early age that snack­ing is a great way to keep full but can also be good for you at the same time?

Young chil­dren have smaller stom­achs than adults, so they need to eat ev­ery few hours to keep up their en­ergy lev­els and get the right amount of nu­tri­ents.

Teens get par­tic­u­larly hun­gry dur­ing pe­ri­ods of fast de­vel­op­ment and snacks are im­por­tant, par­tic­u­larly af­ter school.

Snacks based on fruit and ve­g­ies, re­duced fat dairy prod­ucts and whole grains are the health­i­est choices.

It is im­por­tant to limit snacks that are high in sugar or sat­u­rated fats — such as chips, cakes and choco­late — which can cause chil­dren to put on ex­cess weight. These ‘ex­tra foods’ should only be of­fered oc­ca­sion­ally. The sim­plest way to limit un­healthy snacks is to not buy them.

Ideas to help you ‘snack smart’

Stock the pantry, fruit bowl and fridge with healthy snacks, and in­clude them in lunch­boxes. Here are some sim­ple ideas for healthy snacks that you can make at home or add to lunch­boxes:

■ Fruit muffins or slices, baked us­ing mo­noun­sat­u­rated or polyun­sat­u­rated oils and mar­garine in­stead of but­ter

■ Fresh, frozen, canned (in nat­u­ral or unsweet­ened juice) or dried fruit

■ Raisin or fruit toast

■ Toasted English muffins, prefer­ably whole­meal or whole­grain

■ Re­duced fat cus­tard with fruit

■ Rice crack­ers or corn cakes

■ Plain pop­corn (un­but­tered and with­out sugar coat­ing)

■ Scones or pikelets (plain, fruit or savoury)

■ Plain break­fast ce­re­als, such as wheat break­fast bis­cuits, topped with sliced ba­nana with a driz­zle of honey

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