Mums Matter Too: Snack Time Isn’t Just for Toddlers
• By guest contributor Lucy Beynon •
One of the things that struck me most when meeting lots of the lovely mums at the Mums of the Shire Spring Picnic, was how surprised they were that I was giving them a gift, and not something for their children. It made me realise, as a mum myself, that it is just nice when someone remembers us!
The Real Nutritionist gift bags at the Spring Picnic
Once we have children, our whole focus shifts to giving and providing for them. Which is completely understandable. But all so often it is done at the detriment of providing for ourselves. Mum’s needs almost always come second – or worse still, about fourth or fifth, after the husband’s needs, and the cat, dog or goldfish’s!
After hearing so many surprised “thank you’s” the other week, I decided I needed to reach out to those mums. Do something for them, and remind them that they are important, that they matter too. I decided to focus the whole of November to women’s health, including this blog post!
I thought about what problems we face as mums (what don’t we face?!). We are busy, tired, and probably hungry. Certainly, the delight on many mums facing at receiving a yummy snack just for them (just don’t tell the toddlers!) attested to that last one. Therefore, I continued on the snack theme…
So, here are my top 8 super-quick, super-easy and mostly-healthy snacks and treats for time-poor MUMS. I’ve given them a can-you-share-with-the-kids score (ie is it healthy/appropriate enough for your kids), starting with the most shareable first. I have also included a difficulty rating, because sometimes even a 4/10 is too hard!
8 Quick, Easy Snacks & Treats for Mums
1. Veggie Sticks & Hummus
Difficulty 1/10 (unless you’re making your own hummus)
It’s as simple as it sounds, and an obvious one too. But all too often we reach for chips and dips that are a little less healthy. This is a great snack to share with your kids. If you somehow have time, hummus is a healthy and easy dip to make at home. But if you are a bit more pushed for time, I find the Pilpel brand of hummus is delicious, uses good quality ingredients, and is free from preservatives (unlike many dips).
2. Nut Butter & Apple Slices
Another easy go-to snack that’s a great one to share with the kids. For a nut-free option, try spreading a little tahini on the apple slices instead. The great thing about this snack, is that it combines fibre, good fats, and protein too, which is the best form of snacking! The fats in the nuts will help to slow the uptake of sugar from the apple, giving you a more stable energy release.
3. 2-Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies
SO easy. Literally mixing two large bananas, mashed, with two cups of oats (or two normal size bananas with one cup of oats) and baking for 10-15 minutes on 160oC. I would add some cinnamon and vanilla bean paste for a bit of extra flavour! It scored a 4/10 difficulty-wise only because you have to turn the oven on!
4. Easy Chia & Yoghurt Pudding
Still super-shareable, I often give this to my two girls for dessert. I just have to be a teensy bit prepared in combining the chia and milk before I cook dinner, so the seeds have time to absorb the liquid. This recipe makes around four serves, but can go much further when it is being served with yoghurt. It will keep in the fridge for a few days, and can be a great send-to-day-care snack too (if you use coconut milk, and not nut milk).
Combine one cup of coconut or nut milk with ¼ cup of chia seeds in a jar. Add a little stevia (one to two teaspoons – you can always add more later if needed). Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Put the lid on and give it a shake. Wait a few minutes and give it another shake, then pop it in the fridge. By the time dinner is finished, the chia pudding will be set – just give it a quick stir with some frozen raspberries or blueberries and top with pumpkin seeds. I like to serve it with some yoghurt for the kids, as otherwise my toddler will eat a whole jarful! Optional: blend the chia pudding to create a smooth consistency, before adding to the yoghurt.
5. Indulgent Choc-Mint Chia Pudding
The previous chia pudding is delicious, but sometimes not quite as indulgent as a mum might require. So here is a single-serve, choc-mint version for those nights when you want a healthy treat!
Stir together two teaspoons of cocoa powder with 2/3 cup of coconut or nut milk in a jar. Add two tablespoons of chia seeds, some chopped mint leaves (or one drop peppermint extract), one small squirt of vanilla bean paste, one to two teaspoons of maple syrup (oooh I said it was more indulgent!). Stir, then let it settle for a few minutes before stirring again. Add some nuts, seeds and or berries on top if you wish.
6. Easy Chocolate Mousse
There are a few variations on this that you’ll find online, but the easiest one I have found essentially involves a tin of coconut cream (set in the fridge first), a touch of stevia for sweetness, and two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (opt for Dutch-processed varieties for better quality) which makes four serves. It scores a 4 for difficulty because ideally you should get the whisk out and beat the coconut cream to make it fluffy. If you want a fast evening treat, though, just quarter the ingredients and you can easily hand mix that.
To make a healthier version (two serves), try ¼ cup of chilled coconut cream, one ripe avocado, ¼ cup of cocoa powder, two teaspoons of stevia and one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. Blend together!
7. The Tired Mum’s ’Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup’
Okay I will admit, this is my naughty go-to treat of an evening. It’s sooooo easy and I usually have the three ingredients at home on any given night. I simply melt one row of dark chocolate (the darker the better from a health perspective – go for at least 70%, but 80% ideally), with a little dob of butter. Melt down and stir. I but a heaped teaspoon of nut butter (100% peanut butter for the true Reese’s experience) in a small bowl, and then pour the chocolate-butter mix over the top. Pure indulgence. Plus, I find it stops me from eating a whole bar of dark chocolate! I’ve rated it’s share-ability at a 2, but I’m not planning on sharing this with my toddler until she’s in her teens.
8. Red Wine
If you stick to one glass per evening, for 3-4 evenings a week max, then I can even give you a point on the health score for this one! Red wine does contain the wonderful resveratrol, however, at such small amounts that it’s unlikely to exert any real health benefits. However, many experts still believe that a small amount of red wine is good for you. Possibly due to its ability to help calm a child-wrangled mum!
MUMS OF THE SHIRE OFFER!
For all you beautiful Mums of the Shire – book an appointment with me before 2017 ends, mention ‘Mums of the Shire’, and receive 10% off your initial consult!
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Lucy is mum to Seren, two years, and Aderyn, nine months. She is also a qualified nutritionist with a special interest in women’s wellness and early childhood nutrition. From digestive and gut health, to female hormones, healthy milk production, weaning and food intolerances and allergies. She believes in taking a holistic approach to health, but also a realistic one. Reaching ultimate health goals by taking small, achievable steps, while still enjoying food.
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