15 Healthy Sugar Free, Gluten Free and Nut Free Snack Ideas for Kids
As a mum myself I completely understand the challenge of getting children to eat healthy food or even to try new foods. I have found that being consistent, being creative with food, making sure food/eating is a positive experience, understanding your child's unique way of thinking and getting them involved in the kitchen to be very powerful tools in getting them to enjoy food.
Being equipped with some go-to recipes and snack ideas can make feeding your little ones healthy food a whole lot easier. In my latest new e-book I share 80 healthy, family-friendly recipe ideas including a section on kid friendly recipes (there's even a healthy version of chocolate crackles!) I also love to have a healthy ready-to-make snack mix in my pantry such as the organic range from Adventure Snacks.
Here are 15 healthy snack ideas that are also free from sugar, gluten, dairy and nuts that I hope your family will love.
15 Healthy, Sugar Free, Gluten Free AND Nut Free Snack Ideas
1. Fruit Kebabs Fruit kebabs can be so much fun to make. Set your table with a selection of bowls filled with different fruits and have your kids thread their own fun combinations onto skewers (I chop off the sharp end).
2. Dips Dips can be so much fun for kids and a great way to encourage eating whole foods. Try making hummus or guacamole and serve with colourful vegetable sticks or gluten free crackers. Dips are also a great way to blend in veggies such as zucchini or steamed and cooled cauliflower.
3. Veggie Chips Thinly slice root vegetables or tear kale into smaller pieces, toss in olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven until crispy. (Avoid over-crowding so they turn crispy).
4. Mini Banana Muffins Make your own muffins using mini muffin trays. They are perfect for little hands and great for lunch boxes. My recipe for mini banana muffins is free from gluten, dairy and sugar, sweetened naturally with banana. Baking is also a fun way to get the kids involved in the kitchen.
5. Healthy Cookies Every home needs a go-to cookie recipe and when it comes to food intolerances/allergies or sensitivities I have you covered with my 'Free From' Crunchy Cookies. They're gluten free, dairy free, nut free, egg free and refined sugar free!
6. Sugar Free Pikelets (Mini Pancakes) Made with just three ingredients, these pancakes are great for breakfast, snacks, afternoon tea and are lunchbox friendly.
7. Homemade Chicken Nuggets Follow this simple recipe and add your own veggie twist. I like to hide finely grated carrot, grated zucchini or finely chopped baby spinach.
8. Homemade sushi Simply fill your nori sheet (sushi wrapper) with cooked quinoa, raw salad veggies such as carrot, capsicum and cucumber cut into fine matchsticks, avocado and roll into shape just like sushi. You can also add cooked chicken or egg for extra protein.
9. Sweet Potato Hot Chips What kid doesn't love hot chippies and tomato sauce! Make a healthy option by baking sweet potato (cut into chips) and serve with my homemade sugar free tomato sauce. If you are feeling adventurous you can try my avocado fries.
10. Fruit Ice Cream Simply blend frozen fruit until creamy (add a touch of plant-based milk to help get the blender moving). I typically blend frozen chopped banana and berries and add a small amount of avocado and frozen zucchini to hide in some extra goodness with a touch of coconut milk.
11. Meatasaurus Meatballs I share a recipe for meatasaurus meatballs in my new e-book but basically these dinosaur inspired meatballs (that taste like pizza) are a great way to hide veggies such as capsicum, spinach, carrot and zucchini.
12. Popsicles/ Ice-blocks with hidden veg Popsicles are a great way to include nutritious ingredients. I use avocado and pineapple in my pine lime popsicles recipe.
13. Mini Frittata Muffins Eas to make mini eggy muffins with finely chopped vegetables added. I make my mini frittata muffins with finely chopped baby spinach and grated broccoli.
14. Smoothies Smoothies are a fantastic way to include vegetables without anyone noticing! I add chopped and frozen zucchini, baby spinach, frozen cucumber as well as steamed and frozen cauliflower to smoothies and no one knows! Yet! I typically make a smoothie with frozen fruit (berries/banana/pear) + liquid of choice (coconut water/ plant-based milk) + a source of healthy fat and protein (such as chia seeds or nut spread if suitable) + hidden veg.
15. "Just add eggs and milk" Muffins Sometimes you need a quick and easy option and that's why I love having an organic, healthy mix in my cupboard for those busy or long days. You just need to check for the quality of ingredients and opt for a sugar free, gluten free brand. Adventure Snacks make bake-at-home mixes with organic ingredients and are free from gluten, preservatives and refined sugar (many of the mixes can also be made dairy free). Plus they are made by a mum who also cares about what your children eat. I recently made the Strawberry Banana Muffins (pictured below) with my toddler. I topped them with my dairy free coconut frosting (I added 1 tsp of beetroot juice to make them pink) and they were the perfect treat.
To support our message of inspiring our kids to eat healthily (and without missing out) Adventure Snacks have kindly offered a 15% discount off their make-at-home mixes. Please use the code LLN15 at their checkout to redeem. Offer ends 11/11/17 and avail on individual make-at-home mixes (excluding gift packs). I'll be keeping a mix or two in my cupboard for this coming school holidays!
I hope this was helpful! Let me know in the comments below if you'd like more tips and recipes for healthy kids ideas.
This blog post was written by nutritionist and naturopath Casey-Lee Lyons in collaboration with Adventure Snacks.