Help! One of the Mums in the Mouths of Mums office needs your advice on healthy snacks for kids.

I once heard a story of a wicked stepmother (and this is a true story not a fairytale) who believed her teenage step daughter ate too much and so put a padlock on the pantry and kept the key AROUND HER NECK!  Appalling! Heartwrenching! Or so we all thought…

My little miss 7 is constantly ‘starving’… The good news is she can now help herself and I don’t have to spend my life in the kitchen making cheese and apple and crackers. And the bad news is – she can now help herself! Every time I turn around she seems to be eating something else (a snack especially put aside for lunchbox treats mostly. Never the dime a dozen Arrowroots…).

Apart from a constantly empty pantry, the other side effect of her voracious ‘appetite’ is that the 4 year old and the just turned 2 year old now think it’s their right to help themselves in the pantry (luckily all the 2 year old can reach are the raw potato’s.)

Before they bankrupt me, and clog their arteries, I’m taking action. I’m doing a ‘healthy canteens’ number on my pantry and restricting the ratio of ‘red’ foods and upping the ante on the ‘green’ foods. So that’s where I need help – anybody got any tips for easy, healthy, and (ideally) low cost snacks?

Note from Nikki: for any Mums who aren’t yet into the land of school canteens, ‘green’ foods are all those healthy foods and snacks kids can enjoy as often as they like (think carrot sticks, dried fruit, nuts, sultanas, pieces of fruit – you get the picture).  And ‘red’ – pretty obvious.  Red means stop so these foods really need to be sometimes foods.

So, any ideas on snacks you can share, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Home made is better, mixing veggies with meats etc will be more accessible


  • Make your own. Then you know exactly what’s in the treats. Anything home made will be healthier for you then shop bought any day


  • I’m so glad I didn’t have the lunchbox police to worry about when my kids were going to school. I didn’t even have the peanut allergy to stress about


  • Maybe put up a list of what is allowed as snacks in the pantry
    Fruit is ok for 4 and 7 year olds for the 4 y.o. you need to make sure she/he can chew the carrot properly before swallowing it. I would be wary of giving a 2 year old raw carrots even though a lot of Mums do. A 2 y.o. doesn’t have enough teeth to chew carrot enough. We had friends call in one day with a little boy when we were washing home grown potatoes outside in a bucket. He ran across the lawn, stepped into the bucket, the spotted some washed potatoes in an old dish draining rack, reached out, grabbed a potato and started chewing on it. Luckily they had been washed twice. He also loved frozen peas so his Mum had to put them up on a high bench to put some in a steamer saucepan. Lucky he couldn’t get the freezer open. Our home made cake and biscuits were rationed even though my Mum never put full quantity of sugar listed in the recipes. At least Mum knew exactly what it was made from. When we were old enough we were allowed raw fruit as long as we didn’t eat too much close to meals. We had a bag yard with a lot of fruit trees as did relatives and friends. We all shared our surplus so we had a good variety too. We also had home made jam (again less sugar added than the recipe and it was sweet enough – it would have been too sweet otherwise) and chutney (tomato and also plum.


  • I keep a few tubs of ‘approved’ snacks on the middle shelves of the pantry and they can help themselves from there only without permission.


  • I think a lot like adults they just want what’s easy so if there are cut up carrots, cheese sticks, cherry tomatoes, bite size fruit, nuts, dried fruits where they can easily get them and the other stuff out of reach that might help.


  • As far as healthy snacks go, you can’t go past fresh fruit and veggies. Add a healthy dip such as hommus


  • Mr. 3 has two main favourites – apples and cheese.
    If he visits relatives his favourites are “thin” sliced cheese and strawberries grapes or watermelon. Other times it is apple juice and yoghurt or flavoured straw in milk. I checked the nutritional values and discovered that they contain less sugar than drink powders you add to milk.

    • Warning: some schools have a NO NUTS policy. I know of one school has a sign on every classroom and on the office door too.


  • All of the above, fresh fruits and veggies. Dried fruits. Rice crackers, vita weats, unflavoured popcorn. Yoghurt, but I guess this is a fridge food not a pantry food


  • Luckily my kids loves banans, apples and carrots. So easy just to grab one of those.


  • That was an interesting article! Thanks for sharing!


  • Keeping a fruit bowl with washed and cut up fruits and veggies like carrots and celery works. Also home made trail mixes with Puffed rice are a great filling snack for little tummies.


  • yeah it is amazing how much kids can eat


  • Our little men love cheese and fruit, plain yoghurt dip served too. Simple yet fresh and nutritious


  • It’s so hard feeding kids healthy foods at times being on a budget – it seems to much easier to cook cakes and things especially if you want to share the experience with them.


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