While schools are shut as a result of the ongoing pandemic, kids are associating it with a long summer holiday, however, it is turning into a nightmare for mothers, especially the ones working from home. To cater to their never-ending demands for delicacies, parents often resort to quick, unhealthy snacks which have long-term impact on the child’s health. Such foods contain higher amounts of refined carbs, sugar, additives, and preservatives. Instead, the focus should be to strengthen immunity at the same time being tasty, which needs careful planning with available resources.
Making healthy snacks isn’t easy, especially for picky eaters and the ones who relate to healthy food as boring. Such challenges can be handled by taking care of a few points:
- Presentation of the food is important as kids prefer snacks that are attractive to look at.
- Kids love colors, so making food colorful with fruits, berries, and nuts can be another lucrative way to feed them healthy food.
- Using various shapes and designs like star-shaped cookies or bear-shaped fruits can help.
- Adding vegetables they dislike in different forms with other ingredients like preparing smoothies.
- Association with their favorite characters, cartoons, etc., help them like boring foods better.
Healthy snacks are essential for growing kids as they tend to feel hungry in between meals more often. Here is a list of sweet and savory healthy snack options for kids to munch during quarantine:
Chia pudding: a rich source of soluble fibers and minerals, this can be prepared with no fuss at all. For this, mix chia seeds and milk in the proportion of 1:4 and keep it refrigerated overnight. The chia seeds swell and form pudding which can be topped with fruits, nuts, granola, etc.
Banana cookies: using ripe banana in cookies made of multigrain flour needs no extra refined sugar and is loaded with fiber.
Popsicles: frozen fruit popsicles or popsicles make out of fruit pulp and juices are a healthy, colorful, and fun snack for kids, especially in summers.
Fruit and nut bars: Homemade bars using oats, wheat flakes, dried fruits like raisins, berries, nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, seeds like pumpkin, flax, watermelon is a nutrient-dense snack for kids to indulge.
Carrot halwa: Using carrot in different preparations like halwa or cake can add taste and beta carotene in the diet. They can be moulded into various shapes to make it interesting.
Fruit and veggie smoothie: Fruit smoothie is a healthier alternative to juices as it retains the fiber and is filling too. Many fruits and vegetables can be combined into delicious, colorful smoothies.
Carrot Raisin / Banana Sesame pancake: pancakes are filling and easy to prepare. Banana, almond, cocoa, carrot, etc. can be combined to make a variety of healthy pancakes.
Shrikhand: For this hang the curd to drain excess water and mix with powdered sugar and fruit pulp like orange, mango, or cardamom. Refrigerate it for a few hours till it sets.
Home-made soups: instead of buying premixes loaded with additives, prepare healthy soups like sweet corn, tomato, cream of spinach soup easily at home.
Trail mix: trail mix consisting of various seeds, nuts, berries, grains can be munched any time as a healthy snack option.
Hummus crackers: crackers topped with homemade hummus with herbs is a tasty snack option.
Energy balls: balls prepared from flours like ragi, oats, almonds along with nuts and dates serve as quick, nutrient-dense snacks loaded with iron, fiber, and protein.
Salad sandwich: salads which children often refuse to eat can be included in the form of a sandwich or burger with sprouts and hummus.
Veg nuggets: making nuggets is a quick and easy way to utilize leftovers from lunch. They can be made into soya nuggets or veggie nuggets and served with healthy dips.
Sweet Corn chaat: Boiled sweetcorn with little lemon juice and salt is a healthy way to feed millet.
Kale chips: All it needs is to bake kale leaves with a little bit of olive oil and salt sprinkled over to turn into a crispy snack.
Kids tend to be picky eaters, so it takes extra effort to feed items like fruits or green vegetables. These items are easy and quick to prepare healthy options providing the nutrients required for growing kids. The choice of unhealthy snacks may result in childhood obesity, dental carries, nutrient deficiency, eyesight problems, or retarded growth. Hence, careful planning of meals is crucial for the overall development of children.