Over the past few years, Irish parents have been getting better and better at giving our kids healthy lunches at school. Eating healthily at lunchtime helps our little ones concentrate better in class, gives them the energy they need to keep active and encourages them to form good habits as they grow. Although, it can be tricky to keep it up after school and make sure your Super Troopers are eating as healthily at home as they are on their lunch breaks.
Recent research done by Laya Healthcare* shows that while 79% of parents are including healthy options like fresh fruit, sandwiches and wraps in their kids’ lunchboxes, over a third of parents are still giving their children less healthy snacks like sweets, chocolate and soft drinks every day.
Irish children are drinking less fizzy drinks, with just 4% drinking them at school. However, the bad news is that parents are swapping fizzy drinks for sugary waters, with one in five (21%) kids drinking ‘fruit-flavoured water' as part of their school lunch offering. Check out our blog The Scary Truth about Flavoured Water for more information on alternatives.
If you find it difficult to come up with ways to get your kids eating healthily at home, don’t worry – we teamed up with Siobhan Berry of Mummycooks to put together some great simple recipe ideas for nutritious treats your kids won’t be able to get enough of!
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 small glass of cold water
- Place all of the ingredients into a smoothie maker/blender and blend until everything is combined.
- Pop into a flask or cup for your little ones. Place any extra mixture into ice-lolly moulds and pop into the freezer to keep for tasty treats.
Red Pepper Hummus
3 red peppers
400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 clove of garlic
1/4 red chili, deseeded
1 small onion, sautéed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Place the peppers on a wire rack skin side up and grill until the skins have gone black and look charred.
- Remove the peppers from the grill and place in a plastic bag, close it tightly and leave the peppers to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil on a large pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion until it has become translucent.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cumin and coriander, set aside and allow to cool.
- Remove the peppers from the bag and gently pull off the skins.
- Add the chickpeas, peppers, lemon juice and onion mix to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Serve with vegetable sticks.
Sweet Potato Tots
3-4 sweet potatoes, cubed
125g Parmesan cheese, grated plus more for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Steam the sweet potato until you can pierce it with a fork, but it is still too tough to eat.
- Put the sweet potatoes and Parmesan cheese into a food processor. Pulse a few times to achieve a chunky mashed texture.
- Add the mixture into a large bowl. Form into small balls with your hands and then roll each tot in more Parmesan cheese to lightly coat.
- Place the tots on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turning them once half way through, until golden.
What are your favourite healthy snack recipes? We’d love to hear your ideas, so send them in to email@example.com and make sure to visit our website, www.supertroopers.ie, for more nutritious recipes, activity ideas and more throughout the year!
*Research among parents of school children aged 5 – 12 years in Ireland, August 2018