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5 Easy Ways to Sneak in Healthy Snacks & Meals for Children

We all know that a healthy diet is rich in healthy vegetables, fruit, meat and fish along with complex carbohydrates, but how do we put this into our children’s lunch boxes? Lunch provides a third of your child’s daily requirements. A healthy balanced diet help us to improve immune system. In an ideal world, all our children would relish the idea of a lunch packed with grains,  protein, vegetables and fruit, but in reality this would be returned to sender at 3.30 pm! How to make a lunch which is more likely to be eaten but is also healthy is a constant angst for parents. Here are some suggestions and a recipe for a delicious healthy chocolate snack.

Try to avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates

Sugar is the leading cause of obesity in children and children who ‘fill-up’ on soft drinks do not eat properly and can therefore, become deficient in essential nutrients. There is also some experimental evidence that a high sugar intake can weaken our defences against viral infections. Simple sugars can cause a sharp rise of sugar in the blood. This high sugar level causes insulin release and a drop in blood sugar to below-normal levels. Low blood sugar can cause poor concentration and sleepiness leading to poor school performance. For this reason it is also important to give your child a good breakfast containing complex carbohydrates and protein. For example, wholegrain cereal with a cup of milk.

The healthiest drink is water. Drinking sweetened drinks such as fizzy drinks supplies excessive sugar.

When making sandwiches…

Use wholemeal or wholegrain bread and spread with a healthy spread like avocado. Fillings of meat or ricotta cheese are excellent. Avoid commercial spreads, which tend to be loaded with unhealthy trans fats and high in salt and sugar. If your child only likes peanut butter, try cutting the sandwiches into different shapes to make it more interesting. If your child is wheat intolerant rice cakes can be used instead of wholewheat bread.

As far as possible avoid foods of convenience such as cakes and biscuits. Potato crisps are best avoided and they contain unhealthy fats, high in salt and carbohydrate along with artificial flavourings and chemicals such as MSG.

Add fruit and vegetables to provide a good source of fibre– children love little containers of food so try a little container of chopped fruit or carrots/cucumber mixed with some hummus.

Surprise your child now and then with a cartoon napkin, a special treat or a note!

While being home-schooled, healthy snacks can be introduced to your children.

Top 5 healthy snacks recommended by our dietitian

  1. Fruit: high in vitamin C and fibre, help to boost immune system and prevent constipation

  2. Fruit sorbet: helps to boost fruit intake for those do not like whole fruit

  3. Veggie sticks: carrot, cucumbers and celery are high in fibre, carrots are rich in beta carotene and help to boost the immune system

  4. Boiled corn: good source of fibre and beta carotene, helps to boost the immune system

  5. Mixed nuts: good source of healthy fat, protein, vitamin E & fibre. 

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for children. Don’t forget the importance of exercise which has numerous health benefits. It isn't easy in Hong Kong where schools often have few formal exercise lessons but ideally your child should get exercise every day. Exercise aids in good sleep, another important factor for healthy children. Try and address emotional issues early, before they disrupt sleep and behaviour.

In conclusion, encourage your children to want to eat healthily by setting the example, avoiding excessive sugars, trying to make it all fun, and doing the best you can!

Violet Man's organic chocolate oatmeal balls

organic chocolate snack

Ingredients required:

200g of organic oatmeal with dried blueberry, cranberry, raisin

140g of 60% organic peppermint tea chocolate

25g of 80% organic dark chocolate

1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of chia seeds


  1. Chop 80% chocolate finely

  2. Melt 60% organic peppermint tea chocolate

  3. Mix oatmeal, dried blueberry, dried cranberry, raisin, honey & chia seeds

  4. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon of melted chocolate, and mix with oatmeal mixture into a ball-shape

  5. Coat balls in 80% finely chopped dark chocolate

  6. Place the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for 30 minutes and ready to serve -- enjoy 1-2 balls daily.

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Topics: Hong Kong Kids, Health & Wellness

Violet Man

Violet Man