By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
Mums are the ultimate snack bitches! And whether you’re homeschooling your kids or sick of the ‘MUMMMMM I’m hungry’ cries all school hols, it helps to have some tasty and healthy snacks on hand to shove in their gobs. So we asked Brainly parenting expert and father of three, Patrick Quinn, to share his snack hacks. They’re pretty genius!
1 // Sandwich Kabobs
This fun lunch idea is easy to prep and has almost endless variations, so something is sure to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters – plus, they’re a cool spin on the shish kebab. Try making a ‘pepperoni pizza’ with mozzarella, pepperoni, tomatoes, and bread, or a ‘turkey club’ with turkey, bacon, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, and your choice of toasted bread slices. “For kids who eat lunch while chatting with friends on Zoom or while they’re on their computer, sandwich kabobs are an excellent go-to for keeping fingers (and keyboards) clean and non-sticky. They’re also great for eating on the go if your kid wants to take a stroll outdoors and enjoy some nature while having lunch,” Patrick says.
2 // Trail Mix
This snack idea is great because it can easily be prepared days in advance, which gives kids the opportunity to get in on the action if they want to. This means they can choose their own snack while also teaching them how to balance sweet ingredients with healthy options – it’s all about balance!
3 // Homemade Chips
For a healthy spin on everyone’s fav snack, try baking apples or zucchini in the oven. You can add your own spices/flavouring to make it the perfect snack for your kids that they don’t even realise is actually good for them. Bahaha! “During the pandemic, what goes into our kids’ bodies is even more important. Whether at home or face to face, you still want to promote that philosophy of healthy eating because it’s not only important for maintaining our kids’ immune systems and physical health but also for maintaining their moods, energy levels, and mental health.”
4 // Bite-Sized Cucumber Sandwiches
This fun snack replaces bread with cucumbers to create healthy mini sandwiches. You can fill them with pretty much anything, including cheese, deli meat, tomatoes, and even spreads such as chicken salad or guacamole. You can also use cucumbers as one of the fixings inside or atop bread (instead of as a substitution for it) then slice them up into mini bite-sized sandwiches.
5 // Energy Bites
Keep kids full between meals. You can think of them as bite-sized, less messy versions of a granola bar that don’t require any baking and can be easily customised (easy, we like!). “These have almost everything your kids need from a nutritional standpoint, all rolled into one tasty and fun snack. Energy bites pack in loads of healthy carbohydrates for sustained energy, protein for growth and focus during the day, and healthy fats for brain development.”