The slow food movement began in Italy and Italians have one of the greatest life expectancy rates in the world. Their Mediterrean Diet is a factor for their good health. After 16 years living in Italy, I have learned what Italian children eat on a regular basis. Here are the easiest and healthiest snacks Italian children eat in Italy that you can prepare for your children no matter where you live.
1. Fresh bread with extra virgin olive oil.
We may not be able to purchase fresh bread everyday but we can choose amongst many different breads that are available. It is a good idea to read the labels and select that bread that has the least amount of preservatives, additives and food colorings. With regard to extra virgin olive oil, make sure you are using a quality product that does not have any added preservatives, has an expiration date, is stored in a glass bottle. High quality olive oil is not cheap and if it is, you are probably not getting the best product.
Use one or two slices of bread (toasted or not depending on preference) with the olive oil drizzled on top. The bread should not be swimming in the oil. I sometimes sprinkle very little salt on the bread before drizzling the olive oil but this too is an option.
2. Fresh fruit.
Italians opt for fruit that children can easily manage and store in a backpack such as bananas, tangerines, apples, oranges, .
3. Dried fruit and seeds
Here Italians use dried figs, apricots, apples, bananas and seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
4. Freshly squeezed orange juice (not from a carton)
In the winter I see Italian caregivers give their children freshly squeezed orange juice. They will take 3 or 4 ripe oranges and juice them for the children.
5. Fresh bread sandwich with "frittata" (omelette)
Often times the omelette is fried but it can also be made in the oven with very little oil. Cool the omelette, cut and place within the sandwich and you have an instant delicious healthy snack.
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