Healthy Snacks For Children With Special Needs

Children with special needs require healthy snacks as certain foods exasperate symptoms. Certain foods can trigger “stress” hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol (flight or fight hormones).  Here are a few snack ideas for children with special needs.

#1.  Fresh Vegetables

Cut fresh vegetables such as baby carrots, broccoli, celery, and peppers into strips and serve with a low-fat dip, salsa or guacamole.

#2.  Low-fat Yoghurt

Low-fat Yoghurt or low fat cottage cheese.  Low-fat yogurt that is plain is best.  Add some fruit and honey to add natural sweetness.

#3.  Nuts and Seeds

Anything nutty such as almonds, pecan nuts, and even peanuts are good protein.  Try adding a few sunflower seeds and roasted nuts to oats for a healthy breakfast.

#4.  Dried fruit

Serve with yogurt for a healthy dessert.  You can boil the fruit and serve with sugar-free custard too.

#5.  Reduced fat cheese

Cheese that is low in fat such as mozzarella and feta is a winner for the little cheese lovers.  Avoid processed cheeses as they increase hyperactivity.

#6.  Wholegrain Crackers

Crackers such as Provitas served with sugar-free peanut butter, hummus or cheese is a filling healthy lunch box treat.

#7.  Healthy Cereal

Healthy cereals with low-fat milk. Be sure that you add oats and anything starting with whole grain to your shopping list.

#8.  Healthy Treats

There are many products on the market now that are free of added preservatives and gluten.  If you are budget locked try the following:

  • Peaches – contains a natural sedative that eases anxiety.  Great option for children with ADHD.
  • Berries – contains antioxidants and vitamin C and boosts cortisol – produced by the adrenal gland.
  • Oranges – contains vitamin C and the muscle relaxing pottasium, perfect for children with ADHD.
  • Dark Chocolate – slightly bitter but sweet, this treat is healthier and reduces cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine – the main cause of anxiety and nervous tension.
  • Ice-cream – believe it or not, ice-cream that is low in sugar with real vanilla beans has calming properties. Perfect for hot summer days.

 

https://www.action4.org.za/persons-with-disabilities-benefit-from-health-and-wellbeing/