Monday, March 21, 2011

Healthy Snacking and Your Children

I’m so excited to introduce my guest blogger this week:  Kim Corrigan-Oliver is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner. She has appeared on Rogers Daytime, is a regular contributor to Lakeridge Kids Magazine and a variety of blogs across Canada, US and UK. She has a passion for health, wellness, real food and cooking and is dedicated to helping parents raise happy healthy babies. 

I love her website and she inspires me to make healthy food choices for myself and my child.  Her ideas are simple and delicious and she makes eating healthy easy, which is not always an uncomplicated feat.  If you’d like to see more of her writing and recipes, this is her website and twitter.

Healthy Snacking and Your Children

Snacking is very important for your children; their busy bodies need a constant supply of nourishment and calories.  Small healthy snacks between meals mean lots of energy, better health and happiness.
So what do you give your children for a snack, my suggestion is always to stay away from the products in the snack aisle, they are processed, have added ingredients your children do not need and usually have too much sugar. I always suggest real food, food with nutrients to support growth and development, food with fibre to support digestive system, food in its natural state, food that has not been processed by man – real, good food.
So here goes a list of healthy snack suggestions for your children:
Blueberries – fresh or frozen, blueberries pack a nutrient punch and are perfect for tiny hands.  If you choose to try the frozen route, be warned it can be very messy J
Banana slices – sliced banana with almond butter or pumpkin seed butter and a sprinkle of chia or hemp seeds is a nutritious snack and lots of fun to eat
Rice crackers or rice cakes – these are a standby in our home.  You can spread anything on a rice cake – we use hummus, black bean hummus, nut butters, seed butters, apple butter, carrot spread, mashed avocado – the ideas are limitless, experiment and see what your children like best.
Dried fruit – the perfect snack and most provide a good source of much needed iron, and fibre.  Favourites in our home are dates, cranberries and apricots.  I sometimes mix chopped up dried fruit in a bowl with Barbara’s O and Brown Rice Crisp cereal for my take on a toddler trail mix – disappears every time.
Smoothies – you can squeeze a whole lot of goodness in a smoothie.  Throw a banana, strawberries, blueberries, some rice or almond milk into a blender and blend until smooth. 
Any kind of fresh fruit cut up into bite size pieces
Pieces of steamed vegetables with dip (we use hummus) – children love to dip
And here is a brand new recipe for healthy homemade cookies.  These cookies are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free. Enjoy!
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup quinoa flour
½ cup tapioca flour
3 cups oats
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
1tbsp baking powder
1tsp xanthan gum
¼ cup ground flaxseeds
¾ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup almond or rice milk
1 cup maple syrup
1tsp vanilla
1 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine flour, oats, spices, xanthan gum and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl combine coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla, mix well. Add apple sauce and ground flaxseeds and combine.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until well combined.
Using a spoon place balls 2 to 3 inches in size on a greased cookie sheet, flatten slightly with back of spoon.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then place on cooling rack.
I hope that gives you some ideas for healthy snack ideas for your children.  Nutritious snacks will not only provide nourishment for your children but will make you feel good about what you are feeding them.
What is the favourite go to snack in your home?  Please share, I love getting new ideas too!

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At April 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM , Anonymous Julie said...

I made these today for my husband and kids! This recipe is even better than my old one! Thanks for posting!


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