Tag: children

What is the best snack for children? – Italian Cuisine

What is the best snack for children?

The importance of a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack in children is confirmed by the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, a point of reference in Italy for the education of the youngest.

A moment of nutrition for the 6-17 age group, once mistreated because associated with unhealthy choices, returns to the fore: the mid-morning snack. Considered essential for proper development in this delicate age group, a mid-morning snack presupposes varied choices, sweet but also savory, based on fruit, yogurt, biscuits, bread and cheese, ice cream and, finally, packaged snacks. These last, characterized by portioning, were born about 50 years ago as a food habit linked to the typical homemade cakes based on shortcrust pastry, sponge cake or puff pastry, and in the last ten years they have evolved, adapting to the new nutritional guidelines that provide for a smaller quantity of saturated fats and sugars.

The main Italian food trade association, Italian Food Union, has drawn up a handbook on snacks for children and young people in collaboration with the platform "At the health school" of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome, proposing 28 combinations in the name of balance, to help parents make conscious choices, based on the age of their children. Because “making a snack” is an all-Italian way of saying (and doing) that requires a mid-morning snack, preferably based on fruit. «Objective of this habit – he affirms Mario Piccialuti, General Director of the Italian Food Union – is to break hunger before lunch, to avoid arriving at this appointment too hungry and thus consuming a high number of calories, with consequent problems related to glycemic peaks . Therefore, it has nothing to do with snacks, which are instead a “consumption with no temporal collocation”, often based on foods so rich in saturated fats and compound sugars.

In an age group as complex as that between 6 and 17, it is essential to raise awareness of the consumption of 5 meals a day, made up of a breakfast, a morning snack, a lunch, a second afternoon snack and finally dinner, all balanced. from the point of view of nutrients and calories. "Every age has a different caloric need for a snack too – explains Dr. Giuseppe Morino, Pediatrician and Dietitian of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital. They range from 80 Kcal for 6-8 year olds, to 140 Kcal for 15 and 17 year olds. In general, this mid-morning snack should provide 5% of the total calories and in any case not exceed 10%. Contemplating an adequate presence of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and fibers, so that it is sufficiently satiating .

According to the Okkio alla Salute survey, in fact, promoted by the National Institute of Health, 55% of children does not have a proper diet: one in two children adopts an inappropriate lifestyle, deficient, as well as from a nutritional point of view, also from the point of view of physical activity, judged to be insufficient. To this we must add the lockdown period, which has contributed to the onset of eating disorders and obesity among the youngest.

All Italian companies spend an average of 25 to 50 million euros each year on research and development, to offer sustainable snacks, which have taste and are correct from a nutritional point of view. In addition to attention to the composition, which shows a decreased intake of saturated fats and sugars, it has been implemented a communication plan for parents, who are the actors of this choice: "They are the purchasing decision makers – specified Piccialuti – and this is why the information is dedicated to them. Where the responsibility of choice falls on children and young people, we have decided not to be present: we are no longer in distributors within compulsory schools ". Green light therefore to fruit, yogurt and biscuits, without forgetting that once or twice a week, packaged snacks can be a valid alternative.

Christmas gifts for children – Italian Cuisine

Christmas gifts for children

The game contains ingredients and accessories to prepare delicious pancakes: pancake mix (500 gr), plastic molds for cute molds, dispensers, whip and ladle. A rich recipe book, with many images and detailed explanations, will guide the children, step by step, to the preparation of delicious pancakes, to be made, filled and served with a lot of imagination.

Suitable for ages 8 and up.


Occhi di santa Lucia, how to prepare them with children – Italian Cuisine

They are greedy tarallini to be kneaded together in the family waiting for the night when the saint will bring sweets and gifts to children

If Christmas is everyone's party, Saint Lucia it is above all gods children. It is they who, in the night between 12 and 13 December, anxiously await the arrival of the saint who, according to legend, will pass from house to house on the back of a donkey, leaving treats and gifts to the little ones who have behaved well. Just like the tradition of Christmas Eve, the children who celebrate Saint Lucia, an anniversary felt in this way especially in the cities of northeastern Italy, prepare cookies, milk and a carrot for the donkey for the coming of the saint.

The eyes of Saint Lucia, greedy tarallini

In family, thanks to the afternoons of lockdown where ideas to entertain the children are never enough, the party can start as early as the afternoon of December 12, preparing all together young and old sweets called eyes of Saint Lucia. They are small taralli to the wine covered with a sugar glaze. The recipe comes from Puglia where, as in other regions of Southern Italy such as Sicily, Saint Lucia is celebrated with religious rites and processions and with the preparation of typical dishes. It includes a few simple ingredients that we all have at home: flour, oil, wine, eggs, powdered sugar, water. Younger children can participate in the preparation of the dough that is made with their hands, older children also in the phase in which the taralli are formed and in that of covering with the icing. It will be fun to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen kneading, baking and enjoying!

The recipe for the eyes of Saint Lucia


250 g of 00 flour, 50 g of oil, 50 g of white wine, 1 egg, 150 g of powdered sugar, 25 g of water.


Mix the sifted flour with the oil, wine and egg. Get the children to help you mix the dough well and make it homogeneous. Work initially with a ladle and then with your hands. Now take small pieces of dough and form small strips of dough 1 or 2 centimeters thick. Cut the loaves into shorter pieces of about 8 centimeters which will then be closed in a circle, slightly overlapping the ends, to form the taralli. Once the taralli are complete, finishing the dough, arrange them on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 180 degrees for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar and water with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cover the taralli with the icing when they have cooled down. Let the icing set and then you can enjoy your Santa Lucia eyes for a snack.


You can enrich the dough with anise or vanilla, or add lemon juice to the glaze for even more fragrant taralli.

Alternative cookies

The feast of Saint Lucia is also very much felt in Sweden. Here we use to prepare the Lussekatter or cats of Saint Lucia, biscuits that are characterized by the presence of saffron in the dough. If you want to try making them, find the recipe here.

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