New guidelines advise limiting children’s snacks to two a day, each under 100 calories. Here are some ideas for easy, homemade snacks the kids will love too.
Figures from Public Health England show that the average primary school child could be consuming a whopping three times more added sugar than recommended daily limits, with the average child eating at least three sugar-laden items a day. In response, the NHS’s Change4Life campaign wants parents to limit snacks to a maximum of two a day that contain no more than 100 calories each (not including fruit and vegetables).
Plain rice crackers, carrot sticks, cubes of cheese or a piece of fruit are good choices for little ones if they need a quick bite on the move. For lunchboxes and after-school snacks, try these 10 snack ideas that are lower in sugar and under 100 calories.
1. Fruity sundae
This pot of yogurt swirled with mashed strawberries and topped with mixed berries is portable and packs a punch for both presentation and nutrition. Pack in Tupperware or a recycled screw-top jar and you’ll be cutting down on plastic yogurt pot waste, too. (77 calories, 8g sugars)
2. Sweet potato crisps
With just two ingredients – a sweet potato and olive oil – these baked crisps couldn’t be simpler. Why spend money on processed packets of crisps when you can make your own in half an hour? (70 calories, 6g sugars)
3. Rainbow fruit skewers
Full of colour and nothing but fresh fruit, these vitamin-packed skewers lend lunchboxes a bit of rainbow cheer. Kids like helping assemble them, too, and you can vary the colours and fruit varieties you use. (59 calories, 12g sugars)
4. Almond butter
Nut butter spread on a rice cake, or on a slice of apple, provides a brilliant energy-boosting snack. Our homemade alternative to peanut butter (using almonds) is a cinch to make, too. (93 calories per tbsp excluding rice cake and apple, 1g sugars)
5. Smoked salmon & avocado sushi
Kids can help assemble these little bite-sized rolls, perfect for lunchboxes or a quick transportable snack. There’s no sugar in them and the combination of salmon and avocado provides a range of valuable nutrients. (49 calories per roll, 0g sugars)
6. Instant frozen berry yogurt
Three ingredients and two minutes is all you need to whip up this fruit-filled alternative to ice cream. Keep packs of berries in your freezer and you can have it in your kids’ hands in the time it would take to walk to the ice cream van for a 99p cone. (70 calories, 10g sugars)
7. Cheese wheatmeal biscuits
Our quick-cook biscuits combine wholemeal flour with oatmeal and grated cheddar for a savoury bite that’s perfect for lunchboxes. Cut into your kids’ favourite shapes or just roll into balls and flatten for a really simple way to bake. (90 calories per serving, 0.2g sugars)
8. Almond, raisin & popcorn trail mix
Give plain popcorn more nutritional oomph with this version that adds dried fruit and nuts to the mix and comes in at just a whisper under 100 calories. Easy to store and even easier to make. (99 calories, 6g sugars)
9. Choco-dipped tangerines
We all crave the taste of chocolate sometimes and presenting it as a tempting shell for something fruity is a great way to satisfy the tastebuds. Perfect for kids and adults. (99 calories, 12g sugars)
10. Seeded oatcakes
Fifteen minutes to prep, 15 minutes to bake and bursting with oatmeal and seeds – try these moreish, easy-to-make bites and you and the kids might never go back to boring old shop-bought versions. (63 calories per serving, 0.1g sugars)
Vietnamese prawn spiralized rolls
Children will love making their own rolls and this makes for a fun after-school activity as well as a light snack. Packed with spiralized courgette and carrot, these rolls are also a fun way of introducing raw vegetables. (41kcal per serving, 2g sugars)
Fresh orange ice lollies
This recipe uses the whole orange rather than just the juice, with the addition of fresh pear too. They make a great cooling treat for the summer months. (72 calories per ice lolly, 15g sugars)
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