Summer! A time we get out and about, catch up with friends, family get-togethers, parties, school break ups and farewells, means your diary is bursting at the seams and everywhere you turn there’s indulgent food being offered to both yourself and your children.
Use these handy hints to help balance out the treats with some smart snacking
At the beach or pool
- ICY COLD DRINKS - Freeze bottles of water
- FROZEN FRUIT - Freeze grapes as a refreshing, healthy and delicious snack
- PACK AN ESKY - Fill your esky with a chilled fruit salad and some cold meat and cheese sandwiches cut up in triangles to share.
- Look for portion controlled and mini size ice creams or ice blocks, but for special days out treat them to their favourite!
On the run
- Fill Zip-lock bags with grapes, rice crackers, dry cereal or unsalted nuts with dried fruit.
- Portion controlled, individual packs of wholegrain cereal bars, dried fruit and nut packs and air-popped popcorn are great to have on hand.
Barbecues and parties
- Fill the kids up with a sandwich, fruit or some nutritious snacks before you go out.
- Make sure you all stay topped up with fluids – dilute juice with sparkling mineral water or fill jugs of water with plenty of ice, some chopped lime, orange and lemon.
- Take along apple chips instead of potato chips, and popcorn.
Set the example of Healthy snacking
If you’re the host, why not get creative with your entertaining and inspire your guests with some healthy snacking options. Including better choices from each of the five food groups means you are likely to include a variety of essential nutrients:
Bread and cereal
- Roll ups – Spread high-fibre white bread with toppings such as avocado, vegemite or peanut butter, cut off the crusts and roll up.
- Healthy crackers - team wholegrain crackers, rice crackers or other low-fat crackers with hommus, low-fat dips or salsa.
- Fruit skewers – Thread strawberries, melon balls, chunks of pineapple and kiwifruit onto skewers and serve with some honey yoghurt, drizzled with passionfruit pulp.
- Fruit trail mix - concoct your own mix of dried fruit – try sultanas, apricots and dates.
- Fruity Ice Blocks - freeze fruit juice in Tupperware icy pole trays.
- Offer treats with a healthy slant such as chocolate-coated fruit.
- Cold meat and cucumber wraps – Wrap shaved ham or turkey around thin sticks of cucumber.
- Vegie sticks - Mix reduced-fat mayo or light cream cheese with sweet chilli sauce and dip red pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber sticks and snow peas. Add some sun dried tomatoes too.
- Experts recommend 3 serves of dairy every day, and children aged over 2 years can have reduced fat instead of full fat varieties.
- Smoothies made with fresh fruit and yoghurt make a delicious afternoon snack
- Frozen yoghurt lollipops - freeze yogurt in deep ice trays, with a popsicle stick
- Cheese and fruit platter – Mix some chunky fruit with cubes of low-fat cheese or cheese stringers.
- Mixed Nuts – unsalted cashews, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts.
- Hawaiian skewers – Alternate folded up shaved ham, cherry tomatoes and chunks of pineapple on skewers.
Enjoying food with friends is important, and even high kilojoule treat foods can have a place in a balanced diet. Stretch your enjoyment at treat time by pairing your favourite portion controlled sweet treat with nutritious whole foods like fresh fruit, nuts, dairy and wholegrains.
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