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Healthy snacks that kids can make

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Encouraging children to make their own healthy snacks is a smart move. Find out why and get some kid-friendly food inspiration.

Experts agree that letting your kids loose in the kitchen is well worth the mess they might create. 

“Involving your children with food preparation not only gives them a sense of independence and responsibility, it also allows them to explore and experiment with different foods and flavours,” says dietitian Shadia Djakovic, senior project manager for schools and community at the Healthy Kids Association.

“Plus, studies show that when kids are involved in the preparation of fruit and vegetables, they’re more likely to recognise them, try them and eat them. This is really important when you consider that in Australia, only five per cent of primary school-aged children eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables.”

Create some kitchen collaboration

To make food and snack prep fun and informative for your kids:

Give them simple recipes that are easy to follow
“And give children tasks that are suitable for their age,” says Djakovic.

For example, pre-school kids can wash fruits and vegetables, find ingredients in the pantry and assemble items required to make a sandwich. Children in infants’ school can peel, crack or beat eggs and slice soft ingredients using a plastic or child-safe knife, while older primary school-aged children can take on more complex cooking tasks.

Ask your kids to describe the foods they’re preparing to keep them engaged
“Children are very inquisitive and love to explore, so as they’re cooking or assembling a snack, ask them to describe what a food looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like and even what it sounds like when they crunch through it,” says Djakovic.

Encourage recipe invention
Once your children are used to making their own healthy snacks, encourage them to create new recipes using their favourite healthy ingredients and flavours.

5 healthy snacks kids can make for themselves

“The best snack suggestions always involve fruit and vegetables,” says Djakovic. And with those ingredients as a base, the options are endless when it comes to snacks your kids can make themselves. 

“Just make sure that any food preparation or cooking tasks involved in creating a DIY snack are age-appropriate for your children.” 

Here are a few suggestions from the Healthy Kids Association:
  • Guacamole dip
    Mash together avocado, lime juice and coriander. Serve with vegetable sticks
  • Fruit kebabs
    Grab some skewers, some cookie cutters in interesting shapes and a selection of different fruits. Using the cutters on the larger fruits (like watermelon, apple and rockmelon), cut out a few different shapes, before threading the fruit onto the skewers
  • Pizza pieces
    Take a piece of Lebanese bread, Greek pita or lightly toasted wholegrain bread. Top with a dollop of tomato paste, a selection of vegetables and a sprinkle of grated cheese before asking an adult for help to pop it in the oven under the grill until the cheese starts to melt
  • Frozen banana pops
    Chop a banana in half across the middle (rather than lengthways) and push each half onto a paddle-pop stick. Dip each piece of banana in thick Greek-style yoghurt, and then roll in some chopped nuts or coconut. Place in the freezer until they’re frozen
  • Easy bruschetta
    Chop up a few tomatoes and mix together with a splash of olive oil, some chopped basil and a little crushed garlic. Toast a piece of wholegrain bread or half a wholegrain roll and then top with the tomato mix

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