From popcorn to mini muffins, these deliciously healthy snacks will guarantee empty lunchboxes and happy kids.

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Do you often empty your child’s lunchbox and find most of the food you packed uneaten? Don’t worry, it’s very common. Lunchboxes can be a battle, but ensuring your child is getting the right fuel to keep them going throughout the day is essential.

Most kids’ tummies are too small to consume all the kilojoules their bodies need in three meals. Healthy snacks can provide up to a third of children’s energy and nutritional requirements.

To make things easier, the dietitians from The Biting Truth share their top 10 lunchbox snacks for little ones.

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  1. Fresh fruit

You can’t beat fruit – it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. You don’t have to be a Pinterest expert to know kids love fun finger food, so get creative with shapes to encourage them to eat.

  1. Lunchbox parfaits

Layer a small container with ⅓ yoghurt, ¼ chopped fruit and a sprinkle of muesli on top for some crunch. Choose a plain variety of yoghurt as the fruit is packed with natural sweetness.

  1. Veggie sticks and dips

A great way to get your children into the habit of snacking on vegetables is to offer veggie sticks like carrot and celery with a delicious dip. Let your child explore and have fun with different combinations.

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  1. Mini banana muffins

Kids love anything mini! So whip up a batch of banana muffins in mini muffin tins. They’re quick to make and a great source of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.

  1. Cheese and wholegrain crackers

Cheese provides protein and calcium for healthy teeth, muscles and bones. Tasty cheese slices with crackers are great for little fingers in the playground.

  1. Muesli bars

Muesli bars are a contested topic for healthy snacks, but if you choose a bar made with wholegrains, no artificial colours or flavours, and one that’s not choc-coated – it’s all good! This is a super easy option when you’re pressed for time.

  1. Roasted chickpeas

Try roasting a batch of chickpeas, or if you’re short on time buy prepackaged varieties. They feel like a treat and pack in fibre and protein to keep kids feeling full.

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  1. Air-popped popcorn

Most popcorn is swimming in butter or oil and coated with salt. The equally tasty air-popped varieties contain far less energy and fat than their not-so-friendly counterparts.

  1. Cottage cheese

Pack wholegrain crackers with a small container of cottage cheese for a protein-rich dairy fix. Try mixing in peas or carrot to create ‘confetti cottage cheese’.

  1. Sushi

What kid doesn’t love mini sushi? Opt for sushi with veggies and lean protein like chicken, cooked tuna or salmon. And if your kids are up for it, try brown rice sushi for an even healthier snack.

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