As my children are about to go back to school, I am determined not to get stuck in a rut and I won’t be giving them biscuits or pastries for snack after school every day. Bye, bye junk food, hello quick & easy healthy snacks and treats! I have no idea what has happened to my lovely children who would eat anything I’d give them: all of a sudden, they’ve all turned into fussy eaters… Noooooo!
I wouldn’t mind if they weren’t looking disgusted at every single thing I try to feed them at the moment. Seriously, all they seem happy to eat at the moment is beige food (shock, shock, horror!): bread, pasta, cake, pastries. I think we really need a routine again. We need school, a bit of meal planning and some time set apart to bake nice and easy healthy goodies together.
Busy toddlers (and growing children) need a few more snacks than we do as adults. Their small tummies are not quite big enough to gain enough energy and nutrients from three meals, so our little ones need snacks in-between, for a nice energy boost. Check out my little monsters with their snack bags as they’re about to go on an adventure at the park!
The problem with my four is at the moment, they tend to want a treat half-an-hour after meals, and request their snacks until someone caves in. Not good! I have to say that a fair few of our conversations at home revolve around food. My four talk about food so much I thought I’d jot down every mention of food for a couple of days…
“Mama give me a snack?”
“I want a snack!”
“Give me a snack!”
“When’s lunch ready?”
“Maman, can I have something to eat?”
“Is it time for goûter yet?” (snack, in French)
“Mum, what’s for dinner?”
“Can I have a biscuit now?”
“Please may I have a pack of sweets?”
“When are we having dinner?”
I need food NOW!”
Sounds like I don’t feed these children, right?
Make space for the snack sisters (on my pretty new garden furniture!):
I have been thinking about our eating pattern in the holidays (by that, read, “all routine gone out of the window”) and tried to put my finger on what works (and what doesn’t) for us.
They’ve been having cereal rather than their usual porridge in the morning, and that has meant getting hungry earlier than usual.
This week, we’ve gone back to porridge with a small glass of juice again every weekday morning, and that small change has made a huge difference already.
At my mum’s, they were having cereal every morning, and their bowls stayed on the dining room table as they kept refilling their bowls. They generally had 3 during the course of the morning, as well as a chocolate biscuit or two dipped in my coffee when I was having my own breakfast. Not great, huh?
Porridge for breakfast seems to be the answer for us. As porridge keeps them satisfied for a lot longer, a piece of fruit or a yoghurt with a cereal bar will keep them happy until lunchtime.
As they’d been grazing on cereal all morning, they were barely hungry for lunch. They rarely had a starter, had a small portion of their main and ate lots of bread and butter. They generally had a yoghurt, fruit or an ice cream for dessert.
A snack mid-morning rather than ‘cereal on tap’ all morning means that they are really hungry when lunch comes. We only have a main course or a sandwich for lunch and they generally eat quite well.
Goûter (4 p.m. snack)
In France, this is quite regimented. Children have to wait until 4 p.m. to get their afternoon snack at my mum’s and I think it’s a great routine. I have to stop letting my children help themselves in cupboards. I will be enforcing this at home.
My four fussy eaters have been real nightmares at dinnertime all summer and I really have to nip that in the bud. Answers on a postcard please!
Little ones need to snack. It’s obvious from their behaviour when they get hungry (hangry?). I am on a mission to feed them quick and easy healthy treats that are also nutritious and will keep them feeling satisfied until the next meal.
After asking friends and fellow bloggers for their favourite quick and easy healthy snacks, I compiled my favourites into a ’top 50’ and listed them in 6 categories to make it easier: Savoury Treats, Guilt-free Sweet Treats, Cakes, Flapjacks and Cereal Bars, Chocolatey Treats and Frozen Treats. Apart from the latter category, they are all suitable for lunchboxes too!
- 3-ingredient cheese biscuits, anyone? These babies by my friend Vicki are gluten-free, egg-free and nut-free. They’re quite simply perfect:
Photo credit: ‘The Free From Fairy’
- These Oven-baked Sweet Potato Crisps make the perfect snack.
- My little man loves dippy eggs for snack. Anyone else?
- I absolutely love falafels! They are tasty, full of flavours, filling and allergy-friendly. This recipe by lovely Nina at ‘Eat Allergy Safe,’ makes falafels that are gluten-free and vegan. I’ve just added them to my list of recipes to try!
Photo credit: ‘Eat Allergy Safe’
- These Gluten-free Egg Muffins by Sarah at ‘The Gluten Free Blogger’ sound like my ideal savoury treats, with bacon, cheese, courgette and mushrooms! I could have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Is there anything more delicious than avocado, Feta cheese, black pepper and hot chilli powder on toast? Check my quick and easy recipe here.
- I can imagine these Mediteranean Swirly Bread Rolls by Midge at ‘The Peachchicks Bakery’ becoming a lunchbox staple for Crevette. They are egg-free, dairy-free and soy-free, but full of flavoursome ingredients like garlic, olives, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
- All my children love Organix Carrot Stix.
- These rainbow vegetable kebabs served with dips couldn’t be healthier!
- My youngest absolutely loves Organix Goodies Mini Cheese Crackers (so do I!).
- This roast carrot and cumin dip with accompanying breadsticks by ‘The Free From Fairy’ is the perfect treat, and it is allergy-friendly!
Photo credit: ‘The Free From Fairy’
- Half a bagel with cream cheese, salmon and dill always fills me up when I need a snack, and my children all love it too!
Guilt-free Sweet Treats
- My four all love jelly but I find it absolutely revolting, full of preservatives, sugar and artificial taste. Charlotte’s alternative is the best way to give my little ones their jelly fix, but with a much shorter ingredient list. 2-ingredient fruit jelly, anyone?
Photo credit: ‘Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen’
- Organix Goodies’ Gingerbread Men Biscuits are delicious, yet healthy. They make a perfect treat for lunchboxes or after school (or for Mummy as she’s typing away!).
- These banana pancakes are easy to make and they also happen to be gluten-free, vegan and free from refined sugar.
- Carrot Cake Soft Oaty Bars by Organix are treats nobody can resist at home.
- These Gummy Bears by Samantha at ‘My Kitchen Love’ are quick and simple to make, and only require 3 ingredients! What’s not to love?
Photo credit: ‘My Kitchen Love’
- Rainbow fruit kebabs, anyone?
- These Mini Pancake Skewers by Tina at ‘The Worktop’ are my children’s idea of heaven on a stick!
Photo credit: ‘The Worktop’
- These little No Cook Apricot Energy Bites by ‘Ruchis Kitchen’ make a gluten-free, vegan snack with flax seeds, nuts, desiccated coconut and no added sugar.
Photo credit: ‘Ruchis Kitchen’
- My toddler loves Puffcorn by Organix. The fun popcorn alternative, with no hard kernels, is made with baked corn and rice with flavour from real fruit.
- These Carrot No Bake Energy Bites by Sina at ‘Vegan Heaven’ only contain 5 main ingredients: carrots, almonds, dates, coconut flakes, and oats.
Photo credit: ‘Vegan Heaven’
- This 5-ingredient orange loaf cake by my friend Vicki, aka ‘The Free From Fairy’ looks and sounds absolutely delicious. It is free from gluten, eggs, nuts, soya and refined sugar.
Photo credit: ‘The Free From Fairy’
- Paleo Bluberry Pecan Muffins? Yes please! This recipe by ‘The Kitchen of Danielle’ require minimal ingredients, and are full of flavours.
- These babies are the ultimate allergy-friendly healthy brownies. They are vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, nut-free and also free from refined sugar.
- This quick Coconut Pistachio Banana Bread by Richa at ‘My Food Story’ sounds absolutely delicious.
- This Easy and Healthy Paleo Chocolate Sponge Cake by Reneé at ‘Mummy Tries’ is gluten-free, dairy-free and free from refined sugar too!
- These 5-ingredient Raspberry, Almond and Coconut Bliss Balls by Mandy at ‘Sneaky Veg’ are easy to make, only take five minutes to put together and look scrumptious.
Photo Credit: ‘Sneaky Veg’
Flapjacks and Cereal Bars
- These Oat, Coconut, Carrot and Chocolate Chip Cake Bars by Eb at ‘Easy Peasy Foodie’ are rich and perfect to satisfy a sweet craving.
- Nath’s Gluten and Dairy-free Breakfast Banana Bites are a great healthy alternative to sugar-laden alternatives. They’re also really quick to put together!
Photo credit: ‘The Intolerant Gourmand’
- Sarah’s Gluten-free Banana and Nut Butter Flapjacks sound so yummy and moreish! With nuts and oats, the recipe makes the perfect pick-me-up, and it also has a bit of a chocolate edge. What more could you wish for?
- Emma at ‘The Free From Farmhouse’ came up with Healthy Jam Sandwich Flapjacks, a comforting and filling treat that is not heavy or unhealthy.They are quick to make and would be perfect as a breakfast bar or treat for lunchboxes.
- Wonderjacks© are the creation of Nina from ‘Eat Allergy Safe.’ These banana and date flapjacks are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.
Photo credit: ‘Eat Allergy Safe’
- For a snack we can just pick up and go, we all love Cocoa and Orange Punk’d by Organix
- I am a bit of a chocoholic, and so are my children. These Raw Chocolate Squares by lovely Rebecca at ‘Glutarama’ are healthy, gluten-free, vegan and moreish!
- This Whole 30 Chocolate Coconut Bites recipe by Tyler and Liz aka ‘The Clean Eating Couple’ is gluten-free, dairy free and soy free yet full of nutritious nuts and seeds, low in sugar and high in protein!
- There’s nothing like a healthy snack that also looks like a naughty treat, is there? These Carob and Date Balls by Rebecca at ‘Glutarama’ are full of goodness and they are also vegan and gluten-free.
Photo credit: ‘Glutarama’
- These 10-minute Healthy Energy Bites by Rebecca at ‘Nourish Nutrition Blog’ are quick and easy to make with a blender, and I suspect they are pretty addictive too!
Photo Credit: ‘Nourish Nutrition Blog’
- Pistachio Chocolate Banana Sushi, anyone? These dreamy little bites are the creation of Andrea aka ‘The Petite Cook’ and they are so much fun I can’t imagine any fussy eater refusing them!
Photo credit: ‘The Petite Cook’
- I definitely have to make these these Healthy Chocolate Orange Ice Lollies by Mandy at ‘Sneaky Veg.’ They contain just four ingredients, hidden vegetables and no added sugar. You can make them ahead and keep them in the freezer for a cool treat!
Photo Credit: ‘Sneaky Veg’
- These Lemon Popsicles With Blueberries by Maya at ‘Wholesome Yum’ look delicious. I would use maple syrup rather than erythritol, but other than that, the gluten-free, dairy-free lollies look delicious.
Photo credit: ‘Wholesome Yum’
- This One-ingredient ice cream in 3 minutes is a staple in our house. It is made with nothing but frozen bananas and tastes like vanilla ice cream.
- My Healthy-Raspberry-Ice-Cream-in-5-Minutes has raspberries, beetroot and chili pepper as its star ingredients. It is surprisingly refreshing, with a bit of a kick.
- Our 4-Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream is my children’s absolute favourite; the one they ask for again and again in summer. They know the recipe by heart and regularly ask for it after school.
- Another family favourite is this 3-Ingredient Homemade Ice Cream Ready in 3 Minutes.
- These Avocado Paletas by ‘Caroline’s Cooking’ are so unusual I had to feature them. These ice lollies are inspired by Mexican cuisine and they are made with avocados, coconut milk, honey and lime juice. That’s the sort of treat Jumpy would demolish in minutes!
Photo credit: Caroline’s Cooking
- This Delicious apricot and veg ice cream ready in minutes contains no less than 6 fruits and vegetables.
- These Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Popsicles by ‘Lauren Caris Cooks’ are perfect for making with children. They look and feel like such a treat, yet they contain no refined sugar or dairy!
Photo credit: ‘Lauren Carris Cooks’
- Every single person who has tried this Moreish 4-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream in 3 Minutes has loved it. It is healthy, absolutely delicious and perfect to satisfy a sweet craving. More than that, it’s completely guilt-free and allergy-friendly.
- This Super Easy Pineapple Ice Pop Recipe (4 Ways!) by Grace at ‘Eats Amazing’ is the quickest and most innovative I have found!
Photo credit: Eats Amazing
Have you got any other recipes that make quick and easy healthy snacks for fussy eaters?
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Disclosure: I work with Organix as a No Junk Mum. This post all about stress-free birthday parties is part of our #NoJunkJourney. All opinions and photos are my own.