Healthy and nutritious foods to include in your children’s snacks

Snack was my favorite food when I was little: a sandwich , a piece of fruit and to the park to play. Today, our children continue to enjoy it, but the ingredients have changed and many children opt for pastries or industrial juices .

According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) the snack should represent 15% of the daily energy intake of a child, but that does not mean that it has to be super caloric. Quite the opposite! It must be healthy, which is not the same as boring.

We can ensure that snack remains one of your favorite foods , even your favorite, but includes healthy and nutritious foods . These are some examples.

1. Avocado

The properties of this tropical fruit are very numerous. Among them, its high content of Omega 3 stands out . Different trials have shown that taking Omega-3 improves learning and can reduce ADHD symptoms.

But avocado is also rich in vitamin D , necessary to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. This quality is very beneficial for children, since it prevents the fragility of bones and teeth.

In addition, it contains potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. You can continue to eat with it in other meals, such as salads, but you can also offer it for a snack, spread on whole wheat toast . It will be even healthier and more appetizing, if you add some cherry tomatoes on top. And why not surprise him with an appetizing avocado paté or guacamole .

2. Oats

Cereals must be present in the diet of the whole family and, of course, also in that of our children. Among all of them, oats are the one that contains the greatest contribution of fiber, which manages to satisfy them, a good ally if the child tends to be overweight.

But, in addition, it has unsaturated fats and is a food rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamins of the B complex. E includes vitamin E, selenium, polyphenols and calcium, good for your bones .

Also this cereal, with the highest protein content, is suitable for coeliacs and helps against constipation .

He will be delighted if you mix it with yogurt, for example, or surprise him at snack time with some succulent cookies , a piece of sponge cake or an oatmeal muffin , much healthier than industrial sweets.

3. Peanuts

They are often included in the bag of nuts, although in reality it is a legume. They are a source of vegetable protein (approximately 30%) and healthy fats for the body, at the same level as the precious soybeans.

In addition, it has carbohydrates and a high fiber content as well as various minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, flatus and zinc.

They can be included in many recipes, sweet and salty, and eaten with the shell, salty … But if we talk about children’s snacks, the main recipe is peanut butter spread on whole wheat bread . According to Vitónica explains , it is among the foods of plant origin that concentrates the most proteins and is an excellent source of vitamin E and omega 3.

Commercial options may have added sugars and sodium in large quantities, but at home we can easily make peanut butter and reap its benefits.

4. Chocolate

Contrary to popular belief, chocolate has tons of health benefits for kids. This food provides carbohydrates, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins B2 and B12 …

Cocoa makes children more awake and attentive to external stimuli, which will help them in class. It also gives them energy , necessary for their intense physical activity, and strengthens their muscles and bones.

And if we add to that its antioxidant properties and its power to produce serotonin, we will know that our children will have a lower risk of heart disease and a better mood.

So why not add four ounces to a bread , the classic snack of a lifetime, from time to time , make a hot chocolate by the cup or some homemade double chocolate brownies .

Keep in mind that chocolate should only be taken occasionally , and the purer the better. Chocolate is not bad in itself, if consumed in moderation. Of course, avoid foods processed with chocolate such as cookies and pastries.

5. Strawberries

Like the rest of the fruits, it is an essential food in your diet. They provide few calories, are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and have phytonutrients that protect them against diseases caused by a poor immune system: flu , bronchitis or anemia.

And best of all, the little ones are usually attracted by their color, appearance and sweet taste, so they will enjoy eating them without question. In addition, they have more vitamin C than oranges and without their sour taste.

This vitamin protects children’s eyes from free radicals, the origin of many eye problems.

A cup of strawberries has about 150% of the recommended daily values of vitamin C for little ones, so don’t forget to include strawberries in your child’s daily dishes.

It is convenient that you take them whole, to take advantage of all their properties , but you can also offer them in a shake or even as a natural ice cream .

The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) recommends the consumption of nuts, never salty, in children, although it advises giving them ground to children under three years of age, due to the risk of choking.

They are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and contain healthy fats. They are a great ally before and after doing physical exercise or extracurricular activities, since they are a very healthy source of energy, quick and easy to eat.

But not all nuts are equally healthy. Taking into account the relationship between micronutrients and caloric content, you can offer chestnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, pistachios and walnuts.

You can also surprise him with a bar of nuts and oatmeal , to improve his performance or some cookies without sugar .

7. Egg

Demystified false legends, such as that they were harmful to the heart and that their consumption had to be reduced, today it is known that it is even appropriate to take one a day , due to its high doses of good cholesterol, and to introduce it into the diet of babies. six months , it can help the child not to develop an allergy to this food.

Among its benefits, it helps our children to grow stronger, to recover after physical exercise and to gain muscle mass.

Rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, they take care of the vision and ensure the health of the retina. They also contain choline (100 mcg per egg), important for brain development, Omega 3 and Vitamin D, which supports the brain and cognitive memory and is important for bone, hair and nail health.

They also provide the right balance of saturated and unsaturated fats that make it an excellent food for growing bodies.

Try to one day prepare a whole wheat sandwich with slices of boiled egg or stuffed with a fluffy French omelette and if it is grilled, the better.

8. Cooked ham

Children love fuet or mortadella but they are highly processed . As nutritionists point out that there are no forbidden foods, you can seduce them with cooked ham or turkey, the healthiest and most nutritious alternatives.

Due to its high iron content, it is good for fighting anemia and also for the growth of children, since it contains zinc, an essential mineral for the formation and mineralization of our bones and reproductive organs .

It also helps muscle development, due to its high protein content (it provides about 18 grams of protein per 100 grams of ham), the circulatory and nervous systems (thanks to its contribution of Vitamin B3) and gives them energy.

Children enjoy eating the slices alone, in a French omelette or in a sandwich , alone or with cheese.

9. Iberian ham

It is the healthiest sausage that exists, and children love it. It is not recommended to offer it to babies, due to the amount of salt it contains and the danger of choking, but they can eat it from scratch without problems, especially in very thin slices and cut into strips.

Its high protein content (with all the essential amino acids), benefits the development and growth of children and adolescents and, as its iron content is also high, it helps them to be in good physical shape.

In addition, it includes potassium, good for brain cells and muscles , while strengthening the immune system. It also provides B vitamins and minerals (such as zinc), which helps in growth.

And as Vitónica tells us , these very appetizing slices at snack time and at any time also reduce cholesterol and benefit the heart, and explain the healthy differences between Iberian ham and Serrano ham .

10. Milk and yogurt

The contribution of dairy should not be lacking in the daily diet of children , ensuring that they receive 2 to 4 servings a day. In fact, a healthy dairy and a fruit are the perfect combination for a snack.

The AEP recommends that children up to three years of age consume whole dairy products and, from the age of three or if the child is overweight, opt for semi-skimmed or skimmed ones.

Calcium is very important in the development of bones and therefore in the growth of children . And milk has a lot of calcium.

Also yogurt, made from fermented milk, although if you have to choose between these foods, it is better to opt for milk daily, since yogurts contain more sugars .

But you can also seduce him with very light homemade ice cream based on milk, or a frozen yogurt with strawberries. And if you have time, try these yogurt and cheese glasses with raspberry sauce .

11. Apple

It is one of the most complete and healthy fruits that are known for its content of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and potassium, being highly recommended for all ages. An English saying goes that “an apple a day keeps the doctor at a distance”.

Among its health properties, apples appease anxiety and calm hunger , act as a natural toothpaste, exercise memory, keep cholesterol at bay, strengthen hair and nails, and strengthen their defenses, protecting them from flu or colds. catarrh .

Ideally, offer it whole for a snack or cut into sticks, to take advantage of all its nutrients, but you can also prepare a compote for a change.

12. Quince

This September fruit is, naturally, very low in sugars, which is why its caloric value is very low.

But it is also very rich in fiber ( pectin and mucilage) and tannins, substances that give it an astringent property, which lightens digestion and prevents gastrointestinal disorders .

Consuming it helps cut diarrhea, avoid dehydration caused by vomiting, and strengthen delicate stomachs.

It is used above all to make compotes and quince paste , typical of snacks and that also usually accompanies cheeses. Although when cooked it loses all the properties, it maintains many and you can offer it moderately.

13. Bread

It is impossible to talk about snacks without naming the traditional sandwiches, which have accompanied us in our childhood. Bread has been crossed out of weight loss diets for its high caloric power but, although it is true that it makes you fat, not as much as you think. Vitónica even ensures that it is necessary in the daily diet .

And it is that after all it is made of cereals, and these are essential in a healthy and balanced children’s diet. Bread provides children with a large amount of nutrients, in the form of carbohydrates, essential to have energy all day.

It is also high in fiber and folic acid , essential to protect the cardiovascular system of children, as well as Vitamin B1, Iodine and Zinc, which strengthen the immune system

Also, not all breads are the same. A sandwich made with traditional sourdough bread is usually more nutritious than one with sliced bread, because it contains enough salt, sugar and preservatives to keep it soft. In addition, whole wheat bread is an even healthier option, which will help children to get used to its taste from an early age.

For a six to eight year old child the sandwich has to be the size of the palm of the hand. It can be filled with fresh or semi-cured cheese, with natural tomato, avocado, homemade hummus … Dare with any of these 11 homemade recipes to know exactly its ingredients.

14. Banana

If you are still wondering why this fruit cannot be missing from your children’s diet, we tell you that it provides instant energy, thanks to the carbohydrates and potassium it contains. So you will appreciate having one for a snack, right after playing sports.

It also facilitates digestion, since only half a banana provides the 10% of daily fiber it needs. And its pectin content protects the digestive system. In addition, it has iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and copper, which prevents anemia, in addition to vitamin B6, which improves brain performance .

And the best of all is that the banana tends to be liked by most children, for its sweet and intense flavor and, although its caloric value is higher than other fruits, it is perfect if they exercise afterwards and provides a feeling of satiety.

You can consume it whole, in healthy sweets , in the form of lollipops or as a drink . In addition, we leave you 19 recipes with banana that show that it can help you eat healthy.

15. Cheese

This rich food is a source of calcium, a mineral that not only keeps bones and teeth strong, but also helps keep muscles, the nervous and circulatory systems in perfect condition. If the body does not get the necessary amount of calcium in the diet, it will extract it from the bones, which can weaken them.

Although there are a variety of cheeses and some have more calcium and others less, on average cheeses provide 800 mg of calcium per 100 grams.

Those that are lower in fat (cottage cheese or fresh cheese) and with a milder flavor are advisable. You can eat it in strips on its own or in bread. Find out which are the best cheeses in the world .

Leave a Comment