by Dani Binnington @healthywholeme

Snacks can be tricky. It’s sometimes easier to just grab ready-made snacks than to even think about making them, let alone making nutritious, healthy and tasty ones.

Snacks need to be quick; it’s a grab and run kind of thing. Unfortunately, though most ready-made snacks we buy are processed, high in sugars, full of additives, bad fats and most contain way too many calories to even come close be being considered a ‘snack’.

The best way around this is to make your own! The good news is, this can be easy and once we’ve got our head around the fact that snacks don’t have to be full of sugar to be sweet, life will become much easier.

Be careful though as even refined-sugar free snacks and foods, can still be high in sugar content.  So-called sugar alternatives can still spike our blood sugar levels. So, just keep in mind: when consuming sweet food in general, keep it to a minimum.

Children can be really demanding when it comes to snacks – they are not keen on waiting! And being a mum to three children, I know how urgent it can be when they’re hungry. Whether you’re on the go or at home, snacks need to be simple and nutritious and they also have to hit the spot. Right?

Celery or cucumber boats with peanut butter and raisins

This is a great one for when you’re in a rush! Simply cut celery stalks into 3-inch pieces (or slice cucumber into long strips), spoon a layer of peanut butter over the hollow side and plop a few raisins on top. The raisins make it sweet enough and the peanut butter gives us a good portion of plant-based protein.

Medjool date and walnut sandwich

Another yummy and quick snack the whole family will love. Cut a medjool date in half, remove the seed and replace with a walnut (almonds work well too) into the middle and present with some cut up pieces of pear on a plate. The juicy pear and sweet date work really well with the crunchy nut. A trio of love!

Cracker with cream cheese and jam

Another trio of love and favourite in our house are gluten-free crackers (make sure to buy good quality ones without additives or hidden sugars) with a layer of cream cheese (this can be vegan too) and a thin spread of good-quality jam on top. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but oh-so-good if you do like them!

Gluten-free apple & berry muffins

With a little time at hand, you can make the most delicious apple and berry muffins and your children will never guess that they are refined-sugar free. I use grated apple with maple syrup to sweeten the muffins naturally and the recipe is so easy that I throw it together weekly. It’s just so delicious! You could choose frozen berries if they’re not in season or fresh blueberries work well too. Here is how to do it:

Gluten and refined sugar-free apple & berry muffins recipe

Ingredients: for about 10 muffins

  • 2 apples, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g gluten free self-raising flour (try a ready-made mix)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 60ml olive oil or coconut oil (If using coconut oil gently melt in a pan)
  • 2 raspberries per muffin


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan-assisted, gas mark 6.
  2. Start by mixing the eggs really well (by getting some air into them our muffins will become much more fluffy), add maple syrup, cinnamon and oil. Add a handful of blueberries. At the end, fold in the flour.
  3. Spoon into greaseproof muffin tins, and bake for 15- 20 min, until golden and cooked in the centre.

Find out more

Dani Binnington is a cook, yoga teacher and wellness warrior dedicated to providing practical steps for physical and mental wellbeing for the whole family.
[email protected]
07889 809 034

Spurred on by her experience with breast cancer, Dani successfully created a wholesome, balanced and sustainable lifestyle for her family and herself. It worked so well that she set-up Healthy Whole Me, sharing what worked for her and what didn’t, providing tips, recipes and regular supper clubs. Through this, she hopes to inspire others to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves and family. She embraces food for the body, mind and soul focusing on foods that are packed with nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins that are both healing and strengthening. She is a busy mum of three, so her healthy and wholesome lifestyle is simple enough to be sustainable.

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