“Don’t eat that!”, “Enough of those chips!”, “You’ll spoil your appetite!!”…do these dialogues sound familiar? Probably because we have all grown up listening to our mothers say all this, but never really understood the rationale behind them. After all, we were just snacking! But as mothers now, you find yourselves echoing the same dialogues to your kids, all the time! You can not just let them ruin their appetites on a packet of unhealthy chips, can you? So what is the solution?
There has to be a middle way!
Snacking, if done the right way, can play a crucial role in managing your child’s hunger and also boosting nutrition. Also, snacking is important because it can keep kids from getting cranky and irritable due to hunger and at the same time keep kids from overeating at the main meals.
The larger problem here is not snacking, but the options that kids pick, such as candies or deep fried potato chips, over the healthy ones like fruits or dry fruits such as almonds. The ones they like best are, more often than not, full of fat, sugar and salt and have minimal or no nutritional value.
Turn snack time into something special!
An alternative for mothers is to jazz up the usual snacking options, for example, instead of laying out the fruits on a plate or a bowl, line them up on skewer instead. Colour coordinate the fruits to make the fruits on the skewer resemble a rainbow, add salt and pepper according to taste and then serve it to your kid. The lovely colours of the fruits on the skewer will make the “usual” fruits look more edible and your kid will love it too.
Another alternative is to tweak the ingredients of the usual snacks they pick on and add nutritional elements to it. So the next time your kid demands cookies, you can try baking them fresh at home with almonds instead of chocolate chips, turning regular cookies into a protein rich food item. You can try Almond cookies recipe from here.
Need more inspiration? Here are a few healthy snacking ideas, your kids will love!
Kids love sweet, cold treats such as smoothies. They are fresh and easy to make. In fact, smoothies can be ahealthy snack if made using ingredients such as fruits, veggies and nuts such as almonds. Try this yummy and nutritious Almond and Soya Milk smoothie recipe here.
You can add veggies into this kid-favorite dish to increase its nutritional profile. From adding corn and mushrooms or even paneer or cabbage, you can try any combination of your kid's favorite veggies. Serving these “revamped” quesadillas with a side of mild tomato salsa will surely have your kids asking for more.
3. Baked sweet potato fries:
What child does not love chips or fries? Would it not be great if you could have a healthier option for chips/fries which would be both mother and kid approved? Baked sweet potato fries can be exactly that! Sweet potatoes offer greater nutritional benefits than regular potatoes and are also easy and fast to make.
4. Chicken kebab with Dip:
Chicken classifies as a protein rich food and is a must add to your kids’ menu if you are a non-vegetarian. In fact, homemade chicken kebabs make for an easy and healthy snack idea. Besides serving them on a plate, kebabs can also be served on skewers making them non-messy and fuss-free. You can also serve these kebabs with a sauce or a healthy dip like a roasted almond dip. , for an enhanced taste.
5. Fruit Custard:
Custard is a quick and easy snack for your little one. While it contains many essential nutrients found in dairy products, adding chopped fruits like apples, pears, bananas and dry fruits like almonds can help enhance the nutritional value and the taste of the custard. So refrigerate a giant bowl of homemade custard with fresh fruits and almonds, and serve it to your kids whenever they crave for that “something yummy”. You can also try the recipe of Badam custard here.
Snacking can be a challenge, but if you have set the stage right from the start by offering yummy and nutritious choices at home, then they will know what to reach for when a hunger pang strikes.
So start giving your child these wholesome snacks to keep them satisfied and healthy.
The author loves to talk about healthy food and how balanced diet can help live a fuller life. Also, the benefits of almonds can not be neglected in our daily diet. A list of easy to make healthy recipes are also uploaded regularly.