Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Make your own healthy “graze” snack boxes

So snacking, it’s one of those things I definitely do. I tend to eat my 3 meals and at least 2 snacks a day. Which means my snacks need to be healthy, well most of them! Currently I am breastfeeding which makes me quite hungry at times. It is those moments when I have children clamouring for me, a baby wanting to feed and I know I need to eat that I need a ready to grab and go snack. That moment when it could be biscuits. Although I do eat my share of those too, I’ve recently discovered a wheat free dark chocolate and stem ginger cookie… dangerously nice. So to keep me on the straight and narrow I’ve started making snack boxes. This is something I often recommed to clients and many find them so useful. You can literally make a pile up for the week and take one to work each day, keep them in your bag or just on the worktop if you are at home.

Here are some of my favourite combos:

Cranberry.almond.choc
15g Dried cranberries, 15 almonds and 10g dark chocolate

 

Pecan,apple.edam
15g pecans, 15g dried apple, 1 tbsp dried edamame beans

 

Cashew.mango
15g cashews, 15g dried mango, 1 tsp mixed seeds

 

Brazil.apricot
5 brazil nuts, 3 dried apricots, 1 tsp mixed seeds

Here is me trying out Facebook Live and showing off my not so great phone video skills:

Love to hear your healthy snack box combos. Leave me a message/comment so I can steal your ideas too 😉

I tend to buy my nuts and dried fruit in bulk online (it is cheaper per kg but costs a bit up front) and I store a supply in the cupboard and a supply in glass jars on my shelf. Which looks pretty and also means we all see them and are more likely to eat them instead of reaching into the biscuit tin. 

“Keep healthy food – In plain sight so it is in your mind to eat it”

A good example of this is my toddler boy who often asks for “prawns” and points at the jars… he means prunes! 

SaveSave

Cocao Power Balls

You know those moments when you have a craving for chocolate? For me it is usually mid afternoon, that lull part of the day. Or just before teaching a class, when I need a pick-me-up and energy boost. So I created these beauties to help me, as I’m kind I thought I would share 😉 Now who wants one?

Dietitian UK: Cocao Power balls 2

Note: these are delicious and easy to make, but you do get messy hands!

Packed with nuts and dried fruit I find these great to grab 1 of as I’m on my way to teach a class. My children like them as part of their pudding calling them “chocolate balls”.

Miss K: “Mummy can I have more of those chocolate balls? I wasn’t sure about them on first bite but they are scrummy”

Shall I tell her they don’t actually have chocolate in them?

Dietitian UK: Cocao Power balls

Cocao Power Balls
Yields 8
A power packed healthy treat with that chocolatey hit.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
119 calories
17 g
0 g
5 g
3 g
1 g
31 g
1 g
8 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
31g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 17g
6%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 8g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g dates
  2. 75g nuts
  3. 60g oats
  4. 2 tsp cocao powder
  5. 1 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Blitz the nuts in a coffee grinder or chop them into small pieces with a sharp knife. I use the nuts and seeds grinder on my Kenwood Chef. I used a mixed of walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews.
  2. Remove the nuts and place in a bowl.
  3. Now blitz up or finely chop the dates, add a splash of water if needed to help as they are sticky!
  4. Add to the nuts and mix in the cocao and a little water if needed to help it all bind. You can pop it in a stand mixer at this point and save your arms.
  5. Roll into small balls and you are done!
beta
calories
119
fat
5g
protein
3g
carbs
17g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Banana Oaty Bars

 Mini-Disaster in our house usually means…. there is no flapjack left, we are out of milk, Miss K cannot find a very important item (insert “really not important in the grand scheme of life but a calamity to her”), or a section of the train track has come apart. I quite love the fact that these really are regular disasters in the eyes of my small ones. How simple life can be!

Today’s disaster led to a distraught 2 year old.

 1. The flapjack tin was empty

2. There were not enough oats to make more.

Super Mummy to the rescue. I rarely make the same recipe twice anyway 😉

So I adapted my semi-famous banana and sultana flapjack recipe by adding flour. It comes out less of a flapjack and more of an oat bar. Dense, oaty and firm – no crumbly texture here. A really good option to have with a cuppa, for lunch boxes or to feed a snacking child. They are sweet but not too sweet, if you know what I mean. The oats provide that wholegrain goodness, the banana and sultanas pack in the fruit and there is just a hint of honey and butter to bind it all.

It’s falls into that territory of “Is it a flapjack? Is is a cake? It is a bar?”

You know what? I can’t decide but all that really matters is it is healthy and yummy!

Dietitian UK: Banana Oaty Bars

Banana Oat Bars (wheat free, gluten free)
Yields 12
Quick, easy oat bar recipe that is healthy and great for hungry children.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
118 calories
19 g
9 g
4 g
2 g
2 g
43 g
1 g
5 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
43g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 9mg
3%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g oats (gluten free if needed)
  2. 100g plain flour (I used a gluten free blend)
  3. 100g sultanas
  4. 1 mashed banana
  5. 2 tbsp honey
  6. 50g butter
Instructions
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, by hand or in a food processor/stand mixer.
  2. Melt the honey and butter together in a bowl and then add along with the banana.
  3. Mix well, I left this for a few minutes in my stand mixer.
  4. Press into a lined, greased baking tray, cover the top with foil for half of the cooking time to stop the sultanas getting burnt.
  5. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 20-30 minutes.
beta
calories
118
fat
4g
protein
2g
carbs
19g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

“Mummy I’m Huuuungry”: Surviving the summer snacks with 2 under 5

Summer holidays have hit us. We’ve got 8 weeks of fun as Miss K has now “graduated” from pre-school, yes you now graduate – seriously what is that about?! So in September she starts “big-school” and I will be an emotional wreck for a moment, she is so ready to go that I really can’t be sad about it.

Most of me loves the summer holidays. I love having my kids around, it’s a great excuse to see people we can’t always meet up with, go to different places and have more relaxed times together. Tonight I spent a good 30 minutes extra just reading stories and cuddling Miss K as she didn’t need to be on a strict bedtime and I’ve no Pilates classes to teach. So. Very. Precious.

One of the things that does grate with me is the constant whine of “Mummy I’m hungry”. I cannot tell you how many times a day I hear that one. Especially after a more active than usual day. So this summer I am determined to stay on top of it with a supply of healthy snacks and crafty ideas up my sleeve. Hopefully it will keep us out of the biscuit tin. Although there are also always days you just need a biscuit.

5 Storecupboard Snacks:

1. Nuts and dried fruit. Miss K favours almonds and dried apricots. The J boy prefers walnuts and prunes. Seeing as I didn’t like those types of nuts until I was 30 (yes I am that old), I really didn’t think they would… but they do. So don’t judge what you think they will like/dislike too soon. 

Dietitian UK: Why almonds are so good for you

2. Breadsticks with cream cheese and grapes. My kids love a dip. The whole process of dipping actually keeps them quiet for a bit too!

3. Trail mix – a mixture of all the forms of dried cereal in the cupboard with some raisins. Really good on a car journey as it takes time to eat, however you may end up with cornflakes in the car seat. 

4. Peanut butter and banana on rice cakes/toast. Filling, healthy and quick. 

5. “No Junk” cereal bars with some fruit. Often my emergency snack that I keep in the change bag or pull out at home when the flapjack tin is empty (a disaster in my book, the flapjack tin must ALWAYS have flapjack in).

5 Easy Bake Healthy Treats:

1. Banana Flapjack. I’ve been making this since I was breastfeeding Miss K. It’s a staple in our house and I know many others who swear by it too.

2. Peanut Butter Cookies. Now even my husband who doesn’t like peanut butter will eat one of these. Plus the kids can make them with you.

3. Thick American style Pancakes. Make up a stack of these and freeze them. You can defrost them in the toaster or get a few out at a time ready for snack-attack. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and fruit.

Face pancake

4. Courgette biscuits. I love these in the summer as we usually have a glut of courgettes to use up and it means the kids are eating more veggies.

5. Scones. Super quick to make and you can add fruit of veggies to them. We like broccoli scones or blackberry ones.

Dietitian UK:  Blackberry Scones

5 Freezer Snacks:

1. Ice-Lollies – I’ve invested in a pile of moulds. Personally I love the silicone ones best. However Miss K really likes the ones with the sippy spout on them too. I don’t ever get round to making these with fruit, so ours are just diluted squash. 

2. Frozen Fruit – either buy a bag of frozen fruit or freeze what you have. Frozen grapes, berries, banana chunks, pineapple, melon and plums all work well. Or coat in yoghurt and freeze for an extra treat.

Dietitian UK: Yoghurt Covered Frozen Fruit 1

3. Frozen Yoghurt. Oh my days I love a bit of frozen yoghurt. I sometimes make my own, or I completely cheat. If you pull the lid off a kids yoghurt, pop a spoon in and freeze, you can them cut off the yoghurt pot and hand them a frozen yoghurt to eat with the spoon as a stick. 

4. Frozen peas and sweetcorn. Miss K enjoys this, the J boy just thinks it’s plain crazy. I can see his point, but some kids love it. If they do, embrace it.

5. Banana Ice-cream. If you haven’t tried making 1 ingredrient banana ice-cream before then you are missing out. Go, Do, It.

I would love to hear what healthy snacks your kids love. Drop me a comment or a tweet 🙂 

Cocoa-nut Naked Balls

You know those weeks when you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, you are feeling pretty exhausted and craving something chocolately? That’s me right now so today I created these healthy, delicious balls full of raw ingredients, goodness yet with that chocolate taste too. Inspired by the Nakd bar range, I decided it couldn’t be that hard to make my own version – turns out it isn’t!

These are gluten free (if you use gluten free oats), wheat free and easy to make if you have a food processor. I ued the nuts/seeds grinder on my Kenwood Chef. Drove my kids nuts with the noise – slighly payback for the times they drive me nuts with their noise 😉 Top tip, soak the prunes first and it will make life easier. I didn’t and had to do a lot of scraping them back down the grinder pot.

Dietitian UK: Cocoa-nut naked balls

Cocoa-nut Naked Balls
Yields 5
Raw balls of goodness with a chocolate kick. These are based on Nakd bars or Lara bars. Easy to make though a little messy!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
137 calories
26 g
0 g
4 g
4 g
0 g
42 g
2 g
3 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
42g
Yields
5
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137
Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
5%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
3%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 75 g prunes
  2. 50g oats
  3. 25g almonds
  4. 25g raisins
  5. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  6. 2 tbsp warm water
Instructions
  1. Soak the prunes in the warm water for 15-30 minutes depending on how much time you have.
  2. Drain the water but reserve it.
  3. Add the nuts to a food processor or nut/seed grinder and grind. Then add the oats and grind. Add the rest of the ingredients and grind. You may need to add a little of the reserved liquid to help it along but not too much as you don't want it sloppy.
  4. Now roll into balls and place onto greaseproof paper on a plate or baking tray.
  5. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.
beta
calories
137
fat
4g
protein
4g
carbs
26g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Review: Healthy Snack Foods

Due to my lifestyle  (busy mum, running 2 businesses as a dietitian and a Pilates teacher) I tend to eat a good breakfast and dinner with my children. Lunchtime is quite variable. Sometimes I’m teaching classes, sometimes I am with clients and sometimes I am eating with the children. Either way it is busy so I tend to have a small lunch and snack mid morning and mid afternoon to top myself up. So healthy snacks are essential for me.

I was recently sent some snack foods for the launch of our new Pilates, nutrition and Wellness studio…. which meant I got to try them all, yay!

Lizi’s Granola:

I tend to eat porridge for breakfast or make my own version of a muesli. Oats are my mainstay. So I was quite excited to try out this granola. I was sent the Low Sugar Granola to review. 

This provides 3.8g sugar per 100g so is classed as low sugar. Looking at the ingredients there is some sugar added in the way of fructose and black treacle, but these are the last ingredients on the list, each making up only 1.6% of the product. 

The granola contains oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts plus coconut. It’s low in Glycamic Load which means when you eat a portion of this it will help maintain your blood sugar levels within a normal range rather than leading to a large rise in blood sugars. So eating this granola should help keep your energy levels up and keep you satiated.

So we know it is a healthy granola but is it tasty? YES. I still like my porridge or oats for breakfast but this has become a big hit in my family as a topping on yoghurt. I find it a great post-pilates snack in the evening after classes and my children are having some after tea on their yoghurt too.

 Dietitian UK: Lizi's Low Sugar Granola Review

 Munchy Seeds:

A very versatile snack. I was really surprised by how many people liked these at our launch. Sometimes seeds can be seen as too fiddly to eat, not that tasty and in my husbands words “rabbit food”. However these seeds seemed to be a hit with our clients.

I like them as a snack, grabbing a handful as I’m on the way to a class. I find them a little salty for my palette…. 

IMG_8674_2

Emily’s  Fruit Crisps:

I’ve been a fan of these for a while so it was fabulous to introduce others to these amazing fruit crisps. They are rather addictive and were the first thing on our table to go.

Perfect to keep in your bag as a snack or mix with nuts/seeds to make your own Grazing snack box.

 DSC_4243

DSC_4242

California Prunes:

Dried fruit is always a go to snack for me. I tend to keep it in large Kilner jars on a shelf in my kitchen so it’s easy to access and on view. If healthy snacks are visible you are more likely to eat those and not grab a biscuit 😉

Prunes can help you absorb iron, due to their content of Vitamin C. So if you are worried about your iron or are pregnant these could be a great thing to eat. They also contain soluble fibre which can help stabilise blod sugar levels and help keep you fuller for longer. Prunes are also well know for their effect on helping to keep the bowels regular, this is due to the insoluble fibre they contain, which passes into the large intestine where it feeds the “good” bacteria.

DSC_4245

These prunes are sweet and juicy. A word of caution would be to make sure you watch your portion control! 

Disclaimer: All these products were sent to me for free, I was not paid financially for this post. All views are my own.

Is dried fruit good for you?

We are all being encouraged to eat and drink less sugar, something that I completely agree with. However I’m finding that people are getting increasingly confused with what foods contain sugar and which don’t. The recent  WHO and SACN recommendations are that we limit free sugars to 5%.

Dried fruit is often seen as less healthy than fresh fruit due to the sugar content. Let’s put this into context. One dried apricot = 1 fresh apricot with the water removed. So they both contain the same amount of sugar per portion. It is the portion control that is the key here. It is all too easy to munch your way through half a bag of dried fruit, which will be a lot of sugar! 

dried_fruit_198082

When eating dried fruit think about how much of it you would eat if it was rehydrated:

3 dried apricots

3 prunes

1 tbsp raisin or cranberries

2 figs

Portion it out and add it with something else like some nuts or with cereal. Or try making your own fruit and nut bars.

Dietitian UK: Mango and Apricot Raw Nut Bar

 The other thing to watch is whether anything is added to your dried fruit. Read the labels. Something sugar is added in, which seems a little crazy, but true.

 A recent study on prunes showed that they can contribute to weight loss. 100 overweight and obese people were randomised to have either a healthy snack or 140g(female)/170g (male) prunes as a snack each day for 12 weeks.  The prune group lost around 2kg and 2.5cm waist circumference and were fuller than those on the healthy snacks. So dried fruit  really can be good for you!

My take home advice: Whenever possible eat the fresh version of the fruit. Dried fruit is a healthy snack to be eating as long as you watch the portion size. 

 

References: 

Harrold J, Hughes G, Boyland E, Williams N, McGill R, Blundell J, Finlayson G, Higgs J, Harland J, Halford J. (2014) Dried fruit (prune) consumption does not undermine active weight management or produce adverse gastrointestinal effects. HTPO.017 http://eco2014.easo.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2014/05/BOOK-OF-HT-ABSTRACT-POSTER.pdf

Review: Emily Fruit Crisps.

These fruit crisps were sent to me to try out and to review. All views are my own and there was no other form of payment. You can read my disclosure here.

I’m always on the look out for new healthy snacks. As I have an early breakfast, by mid morning I am in need of something small to keep me going. I am a great believer of having  healthy options in the cupboards to prevent you reaching for the not so healthy choice so often! Fresh fruit is always a great option for a snack, but there are times you just fancy it in a different form. 

These fruit crisps are not fried, but made using a vacuum. They contain no added sugar but are naturally sweet from the fruit, they are gluten free and the only ingredients are the fruit and non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. The apple crisps contain 7.7g/100g and the banana crisps 13g/100g. Not a low fat product.

photo 2-1

Packing a real crunch they are delicious and so tasty that I’m afraid I kept them for myself. Usually my small people tend to graze on my food whenever they get a chance… not so with these 😉

Dietitian UK: Emily Fruit Crisps 

I would suggest that although these come in 35g packs they would be best balanced out with some nuts or had on the side with a healthy flapjack or low sugar muffin.

Thankyou Emily’s for a great addition to the snack market.

Chewy Oaty Cookies: great baby/toddler snacks.

Chewy Fruit and Oat Cookies
Yields 10
Healthy, wholesome, wholegrain fruit and oat cookies with no added fat or sugar. Perfect for kids as a snack.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
98 calories
20 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
43 g
1 g
7 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
43g
Yields
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 98
Calories from Fat 10
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
2%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 mashed ripe banana
  2. 1/3 cup apple sauce
  3. 1 cup oats
  4. 1/2 cup raisins
  5. 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Mash the banana and mix with the apple sauce.
  2. Add the oats and raisins and stir.
  3. Now add the yoghurt, cinnamon and vanilla,
  4. Drop spoonfuls onto a well-greased and lined baking tray or a silicone sheet.
  5. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 15-20 minutes.
beta
calories
98
fat
1g
protein
3g
carbs
20g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
I have one of those toddlers who is always hungry and asks for snacks a lot. Often I set the expectation early on in the day and at lunchtime I will explain that in the afternoon the only snacks available are fruit and breadsticks with a dip for example. As my toddler takes after mummy and also loves cooking,  I am constantly on the look out for new healthy snacks that we can make together. If she cooks it she wants to eat it and I’m not a fan of filling her full of added sugar.

This weekend we had a go at adapting our usual flapjack recipe, making a yoghurt, apricot and banana version and we also came up with these cookies. Now these are definitely cookies and not biscuits. There is no crunch to them, they are soft and chewy, which makes them perfect for babies and toddlers. They have no added sugar the sweetness comes from the fruit and apple sauce and no added fat either. The oats provide a wholegrain form of carbohydrate that will  keep your little ones and you going through the afternoon. 

Dietitian UK: Fruity Oaty Cookies

To “adult” these up I would add some nuts and seeds for added crunch and serve with a cuppa. Have a play and let me know what you come up with.

 Dietitian UK: Healthy Fruity Oaty Cookies

Mango and Apricot Raw Nut bars.

I’ve been meaning to play around with making these for absolutely ages. It’s been on of those things on my very long list of things to make. However babies and toddlers seem to take over slightly 😉 Today has been a fairly relaxed day and suddenly in the middle of te toddler finishing her tea and the baby getting ready for a bath I suddenly found that urge to make these. As I fired up the food processor my husband literally came out with “What on earth are you doing” – translated as “Its time to get these kids into bed so we can sit down with a glass of something yummy”. Fortunately these babies literally took minutes to make so I can enjoy one with my glass of chilled white wine. YES.

This is a recipe I’ll be playing around with over the coming weeks for sure. Let me know if you come up with any good combinations.

Dietitian UK: Mango and Apricot Raw Nut Bar

Mango and Apricot Raw Nut Bars.
Serves 10
Quick, simple and super healthy raw fruit and nut bars with nothing but fruit and nuts in them.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
129 calories
16 g
0 g
7 g
3 g
1 g
42 g
3 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
42g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129
Calories from Fat 60
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 3mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
34%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
2%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mixed nuts
  2. 1 cup dried apricots
  3. 1 cup dried mango
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz for a few minutes until it is all finely processed.
  2. Roll into balls or shape into bars, wet hands helps.
  3. Place on greaseproof paper and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
beta
calories
129
fat
7g
protein
3g
carbs
16g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/