Healthy Snacking

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With the summer holidays coming up -- and the ice cream vans coming out in force -- how do you help your child choose healthy snacks that will give them the energy they need for those long sunny days?  Chances are, they'll be asking for something almost before you know it!

We talked with Jenny Moloney of local company Moral Fibre about some ways to keep your child's snacking on a healthy track this summer.

What are the main challenges parents face, snack-wise, over the long summer holidays?

If your children already like sugary, processed foods with artificial flavourings -- or are feeling the peer group pressure to eat what their friends are eating -- then it can be a challenge to get them trying fresh, healthy alternatives.  Children are sometimes reluctant to try new things, too, especially when the 'cool' supermarket brands are so enticing.  Healthy snacks might take a bit more time and preparation, so it sometimes feels easier to go for something processed and easily transportable. 

Having something healthy on hand when your child is 'starving' is a great way to encourage them to try something different. 

Healthy snacking is fine in moderation, especially after physical activity or when out and about, but nothing really beats a nutritious homemade meal.

What are your personal favourites when it comes to snacks?

Any homemade vegetable dips such as hummus, beetroot, guacamole, aubergine or broad bean served with fresh crudités (carrots, celery, cucumbers) and crackers.  The classic combo is carrot sticks and hummus, but there are plenty of great dip recipes online.  Roasted nuts and pumpkin seeds are delicious on their own or in salads.  If you're at home, you could make great little mini 'kebabs' with cubes of cheese and veggies. 

Our girls always loved homemade pureed fruit icy pops or bowls of fresh berries, too.  The other combination that's a bit more unusual is frozen banana and peanut butter blended together to make ‘ice-cream.’

What would you recommend for dairy-free and/or egg-free snacks?  Gluten-free?

Well, Moral Fibre snacks, of course!  We have all sorts of delicious snacks with no dairy, no egg, and no gluten.  You can also look for Urban Fruit, Bear, Inspiral -- but we love it when you shop local!

Fancy trying some of the Moral Fibre goodies -- as well as making your own?  Order online at moralfibrefood.com and the discount code HALTON15 will get you 15% off until 31 August 2019.

Banana Nut 'Ice Cream'

Put leftover brown spotty bananas in the freezer in advance (at least 1-2 hours)

4 large, very ripe frozen bananas cut into discs
2 tbsp peanut butter

Blend 4 frozen bananas in high speed blender until smooth. This is great on its own as it tastes just like ice cream  or you can add peanut butter and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Perfect to cool down after a game of tennis in the sunshine!

Dried Seasonal Fruit

This is perfect if you have excess plums, strawberries or apples -- and a dehydrator.

Halve the plums removing the stone, halve the strawberries, or prepare slices of apple and place on dehydrator trays.  Dry at 46C for around 24-48 hours until nice and chewy.  These are great for a lunchbox or as a snack -- and are nicely portable once you've dried them.  Perfect for days out!

Hand-Rolled Snacks

This is a perfect way to get children of any age involved in the kitchen. And you get to make up your own flavour combinations!

200g pitted dates
100g almonds 
Handful of dried mango, cranberries, raisins or figs (you choose!)
Optional: handful of seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)
A little water or apple juice to combine
Desiccated coconut, cocoa or sesame seeds

Blend everything except the with a little water or apple juice until the texture feels right  for rolling. Roll a teaspoonful at a time together into a ball, and then coat in cocoa, sesame seeds or desiccated coconut. Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

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Halton Tennis Centre
Chestnut End, Halton
Aylesbury HP22 5PD, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1296 623453
Email: info@everyball.net

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