Rushden dietitian talks snacks as she shares more of her knowledge on how to eat well in lockdown

Lockdown and the summer holidays may have made it difficult to come up with healthy snacks for the children, but Dr Mabel Blades has some suggestions for you
Coming up with healthy and tasty snack ideas for children may have proved more difficult during lockdown and the summer holidaysComing up with healthy and tasty snack ideas for children may have proved more difficult during lockdown and the summer holidays
Coming up with healthy and tasty snack ideas for children may have proved more difficult during lockdown and the summer holidays

An expert on diet and nutrition has lots of ideas for children's snacks as she shares more of her knowledge about how to eat well during lockdown.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a PhD in diet and diabetes.

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She has her own business, Nutrition and Dietetic Services, after working in the NHS for many years and now does consultancy as well as writing books.

Dr Blades, who is also a governor at Kettering General Hospital, is going to share her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph in the coming weeks, helping us make good use of the food in our cupboards and offering advice on getting a balanced diet despite the lockdown restrictions.

This week she is focusing on snacks for children, which can prove difficult when you're trying to find something healthy and tasty but also quick and convenient.

Dr Blades told the Northants Telegraph: "Children are growing fast and normally very active and it often seems they are always hungry and demanding snacks.

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"Here are some ideas – try to get children involved in making things.

"Obviously they may not suit every child so be careful if there are any allergies or intolerances or difficulties with swallowing or chewing."

Here's some snack ideas from Dr Blades:

- Whole or sliced fruit – this is lovely and different items can be tried. You can even try going blackberrying as soon as they are ripe on hedges, but wash fruit well before eating

- Vegetable sticks, eg celery, carrot, pepper, cucumber — these are snacks on their own or with dips like hummus (which is easy to make from a can of chickpeas) or cottage cheese

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- A bag of plain popcorn can be home-made in a pan with a little oil and a lid on, microwaved or bought

- Breadsticks or bread baked in the oven with various toppings and cut into squares

- Unsalted nuts –the unshelled pea nuts are fun and slow down eating and can be roasted in the shell

- Roasted chickpeas drained from the can and oven baked

- Rice or corn cakes (use the small ones)

- Poppadums made from packs of dry ones in the microwave

- Mini pancakes and jellies all home-made rather than bought as individual ones

- Ice lollies made using diluted squash

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- Flavoured ice cubes by putting a piece of fresh or canned or frozen fruit into an ice cube tray and topping with water or diluted squash. If you want something really fancy you can make an ice bowl by using 2 bowls with water and fruit between and then frozen

- Home-made smoothies and milk shakes using fruits and milk or yoghurt

- You can also get younger children to make some posters of snacks using paints, crayons and food packs

To read Dr Blades' last piece for the Northants Telegraph on hydration, click hereAnd if you have a question relating to food, nutrition and eating well during lockdown, email your question to [email protected] and we will put it to Dr Blades.

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