Importance of Snacks for Kids
Snacks play a vital role in a child’s growth. These small meals between the main meals help keep a child energised and also prevent crankiness resulting from hunger pangs. The tiny stomachs of little ones can only eat a small amount of food at a time, but the requirements of calories and nutrients for their overall development need to be taken care of too. Also, when the tiny tummies growl at odd times, there has to be some food available to fill them up and boost the kids' energy.
This is when healthy snacks come to the rescue especially when providing a nutrient-packed, complete main meal is not possible. Healthy and timely snacks are also crucial for inculcating healthy eating habits from a younger age. For younger kids, it is often recommended that they eat three meals and two snacks. Morning snack is usually offered between breakfast and lunch along with an afternoon snack. Whereas for older kids, at least one snack (two in case they are undergoing growth spurt) and three meals are considered to be enough. This snack is usually offered between lunch and dinner or it can be a large snack after school.
Parents often find themselves running out of ideas to prepare and offer quick, healthy yet delicious snacks to satiate the hungry tummies. Take a look at some of the important points mentioned below that must be considered while choosing what to offer during snack time.
Things to Remember When Making Snacks for Kids
To understand what counts as a snack and what doesn’t, you should take a look at the ingredients:
- Protein must appear to be the main ingredient in any healthy snack. So, if you can find whole grains, fruits or vegetables topping this list, then it is good enough.
- Sugar is best offered in small amounts and it is essential to check labels for the quantity of sugar it might contain, if any. A snack with higher levels of sugar content is best avoided and the same goes for salt. Lower sodium levels on the label along with a clear understanding of the size of the recommended serving should help in deciding whether or not to give it a go.
- Trans fats are also best left out of snacks. So, proteins and fats should dominate the ingredients list in order to provide a healthy quotient to the said snack.
- The presence of dietary fibres could be highly beneficial in aiding digestion and keeping the children feeling fuller and energised for longer duration.
- Even a not so healthy snack paired with a good drink like milk, kefir or smoothie or another small snack like eggs that are rich in protein could collectively make up for what one food item might lack and make a healthy, wholesome small meal.
8 Tasty Evening Snacks for Kids
Whole Grain Cereal
We cannot stress enough on the importance of whole-grain cereals, which is why we strongly recommend a bowl of whole-grain cereals with milk and the pure goodness of fruits to start off the day with. Just add a lot of fruits or dry fruits to it and your kid is set for time being.
Tired of thinking of new things to make for your kids each day? How about making some bread rolls, it is one of the easiest snack recipes and is loved by all. It is a deep-fried potato and bread snack which can be prepared easily. Serve it with tomato ketchup to your kids and watch them devour it all in no time.
- 15-16 white bread slices
- 6 potatoes medium size, boiled and mashed
- 2 onions small size, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 green chillies finely chopped (you can leave them out if your kids don’t like chilli)
- 1½ tsp coriander seeds roasted and crushed
- 3 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp mint leaves
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp chaat masala powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- Oil for frying
- Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and heat it well.
- Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Put green chillies and fry for a few seconds.
- Add onions and fry them till they are soft and pink.
- Take them off the stove and let them cool off.
- Add potatoes, coriander leaves, mint leaves, coriander seeds, garam masala, chaat masala and salt and mix well.
- Now, divide this stuffing into small portions.
- Take a bread slice and dip it in water for a second.
- Squeeze it by keeping it between your palms and put it on a clean cloth.
- Take the stuffing and place it on the squeezed bread.
- Bring the edges together, you can do this with the cloth, squeeze it to make it like a tight ball and remove the cloth after it’s properly packed.
- After preparing all the rolls heat the oil in a deep pan.
- Slide the rolls one by one and fry them until they are nice and crispy.
- Serve them hot with a glass of orange juice to your kids.
With all the goodness of corns and vegetables, this yummy and crispy deep-fried snack is a sure-shot hit with children.
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp corn
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 capsicum
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup rice flour
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chat masala
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Boil the corn and keep aside. Boil and mash the potatoes and keep aside.
- Finely chop onions, capsicum and coriander leaves.
- Blend the corn to a coarse paste. Make sure not to add any water to it and transfer the paste to a bowl.
- To the paste add mashed potatoes.
- Add in the finely chopped vegetables.
- Add the ginger paste, and all the spices and salt to taste.
- Give it a good mix.
- Next add in the rice flour and the bread crumbs.
- Form a non-sticky dough that would hold its shape by making sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Make cutlets of your preferred shape and size out of the dough after putting a little oil on your hands.
- Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai on medium high.
- Do not put too many cutlets at a time in the kadhai and stir occasionally, flipping the cutlets once they are done on one side.
- Take the cutlets out on a paper towel once they are fried to a crispy golden brown.
- Corn cutlets taste best with a dip or sauce along with a cool drink.
A pancake with a generous helping of syrup is a mouthwatering and healthy snack. Here is how you can go about preparing it for your little one:
- 1 cup maida or all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp water
- Sieve together all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, i.e. flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon powder and baking powder.
- Measure 1 cup milk and add to it the vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and water.
- Slowly pour in the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and give it a mix.
- Do not worry about getting rid of the lumps in the mixture.
- Put it aside for a few minutes.
- Heat a pan on medium high flame and add butter once the pan is hot.
- Add this melted butter to the batter and mix it into it.
- Pour a ladle of the batter onto the hot pan and cook until bubbles appear on the top.
- Then flip the pancake and cook until golden brown.
- Serve with a little honey.
A chocolate sandwich tastes as good as it sounds and here is how you can quickly whip up this amazing snack:
- 8 slices of fresh, white, milk bread
- 2-3 tablespoons of butter at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup or chocolate spread
- Grated cheese (optional)
- Heat a pan.
- Apply butter to one side of a bread slice and toast it on the heated pan on low flame.
- Apply chocolate syrup to one side of another bread slice and butter on the other side.
- Quickly toast the buttered side of the other bread slice.
- Put the slices together and pour some chocolate syrup on top.
- To make it even more interesting a sprinkling of some grated cheese and voila you have cheese chocolate sandwich.
- A toaster or sandwich maker can also be used instead of a pan.
Red Sauce Pasta
Pasta is a wholesome meal, both delicious and healthy and enjoyed equally by all age groups the world over. It also makes a great brunch and goes well as a tiffin idea.
Ingredients for Tomato Sauce:
- 5-6 tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 onion
- ½ cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp sugar
- 4-5 basil leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped onions
- ½ tbsp chopped garlic
- Salt to take
- Oil for saute
Ingredients for Pasta:
- 110 gm pasta
- 3 cups of water
- Pinch of salt
Method for Red Sauce:
- Cook the tomatoes in a pan along with the garlic, onion and bay leaf.
- Add water.
- Add salt and sugar.
- Cover and boil the tomatoes.
- Grind to a paste once they cool down.
- Heat some oil in a different pan and saute the chopped onions and garlic.
- To this, add the tomato puree and cook till it gets reduced to half.
- Add basil leaves to it and put it aside.
Method for Pasta:
- Add salt to boiling water.
- Add in the pasta and boil.
- Once done, drain and transfer the pasta to a serving dish.
- Serve the pasta with the tomato sauce.
Baked Potato Wedges
Potato wedges are crispy snacks that kids can’t resist and neither can the adults. Surprise your family today with this simple recipe of baked potato wedges:
- 4 large potatoes
- 1½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper powder, freshly ground would be best
- Olive oil
- The first step would be to preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
- Carefully wash off all the dirt from the potatoes (do not peel).
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then each half further into two or more wedges as required.
- Put these wedges in a mixing bowl and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add salt, pepper and paprika and toss to coat each side.
- Lay the wedges on a baking tray in a single layer and bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked through to a crispy golden.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
Last but not the least, here is a recipe for our favourite - hummus, that you can either eat as is with a spoon or serve it as a side dish:
- 3 cups of chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-4 ice cubes
- ⅓ cup tahini, a bitter paste made from sesame seeds
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon, juice
- Hot water if required
- Soak chickpeas overnight and cook them.
- Blend the cooked chickpeas and minced garlic together to a smooth, powdery form.
- Add ice cubes, tahini, salt and lemon juice while the chickpeas are still in the blender.
- Blend for around 4-5 minutes.
- If the consistency seems to be too thick, you can add in a little warm water and blend until the desired smooth and silky consistency is reached.
- Serve hummus in a bowl and enjoy as is or as a dip with your favourite chips.
Preparing Different Evening Snacks for Kids Everyday is Not Difficult
As you would have realised by now that preparing different evening snacks for your kids which are not only simple to make but also healthy and delicious is not so difficult. We hope you would have loved the recipes given in this BP Guide and would try out some of them soon. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.