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HealthInfo Canterbury

Smart snacking for children

He kai kinikini pai mō ngā tamariki

Snacks can help curb children's hunger and provide an energy boost between meals. But it's important to remember that snacks are not meals. Your child should arrive at meals hungry and ready to eat, not full from snacking.

The trouble with most popular children's snacks, like biscuits, cakes, chocolate and thickshakes, is that they're sugary and fatty. Or they're salty and fatty like crisps, movie popcorn, instant noodles and crackers. If your child eats lots of these foods they can end up putting on weight. Snacks that are sweet and chewy such as lollies, dried fruit and fruit leathers stick to your child's teeth and can cause tooth decay.

Snacks don't need to come in packets. They can be easily and cheaply made at home.

Healthy snack ideas

Fruit ideas

Vegetable ideas

Other ideas

More tips for smart snacking

Cucumber and mint dip



  1. Mix the yoghurt with the mayonnaise.
  2. Stir in the cucumber and chopped or dried mint.
  3. Serve with vegetable sticks or wholegrain crackers.

For more healthy and tasty dip recipes that are quick and easy to make see Make dips your thing from My Family Food.

On the next page: Healthier takeaway tips

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Community Paediatric Dietitian, Nurse Maude. Page created October 2016.

Page reference: 298118

Review key: HIHEC-62690