Top 10 Ideas for Healthy Snacks for Kids Lunches (2020)! Because Growing Kids Often Get Hungry in Between Meals

Top 10 Ideas for Healthy Snacks for Kids Lunches (2020)! Because Growing Kids Often Get Hungry in Between Meals

In this article, we have listed down some healthy as well as tasty snacks that you can serve your kids to keep them healthy and ensure they get all the necessary nutrients. Find out which nutrients should be there in your kid's diet. Read on!

Related articles

Nutrition is Key in Child's Growth

As a parent, we often agonise over the food we give to our little angels. There is no denial to the fact that every parent wants their children to get the best nutrition through their foods. But things get a little twisted when your kid is not that open to accept new foods that you are trying to introduce. You can’t lose this battle to your kids as they need complete nutrition for a better mental as well as physical health. It is best to prepare some interesting and yummy lunch-time snacks for your kids as soon as they start going to the school. Avoid packaged snacks. They are loaded with refined flour, artificial ingredients and added sugar. Instead, focus on filling your kid’s tummy with home-made food that offers both nutrition and energy.

Top 3 Nutrients Kids Need to Grow

School-going kids are probably in the best phase of their growth cycle and a ‘balanced diet’ is a must to meet their growth requirements along with the desired portion of nutrition. You must be eager to place a platter of nutritional foods in front of your little ones, but before that, you should know which nutrients they need the most. Here are the primary three nutrients that your growing kids need in great amount on a daily basis to have a healthy body and better immunity.

1. Protein

The main ingredient of our food that builds, repairs and maintains our body tissue is protein. Protein assists your child’s body to develop new cells and break down the consumed food into energy. It also safeguards your kid’s body against infection and disruption in oxygen supply to cells. You may include protein in your child’s diet through meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and dairy products which are rich in protein. Youngsters need large amounts of protein to build a strong body and remember not to deprive your children of this.

2. Carbohydrates

Although the whole world is going to tell you to ‘cut the carbs’ from your daily meals, but this rule isn’t applicable for growing children. In fact, it is the complete opposite for them. Carbohydrates are one of the major body building components that act as the primary source of energy. They are primarily known for their role in helping the body to build and repair tissues by breaking down protein and fat. Sugars, fibre and starches are all loaded with high level of carbohydrates but it is recommended to encourage your children to consume more starches and fibres than eating sugars. Good source of carbohydrates can be achieved by eating cereals, breads, potatoes, rice, pasta and chapatis.

3. Calcium and Vitamins

When your child is growing fast it means his/her body is in need of more and more calcium to support the growth of bones. Calcium is also very important for teeth development. Calcium is must for proper functioning of muscle, nerve and heart. This nutrient also plays a crucial role in blood clotting to prevent excessive blood loss. Calcium can easily be obtained from milk, dairy products, leafy vegetables, egg yolks and tofu. Remember to load you kid’s daily diet with plenty of calcium-rich foods so that they never have to struggle with bone and teeth problems during their adulthood.

Vitamins particularly A. C and B Complex are also known to be vital ingredients to boost immunity. Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and devoid of any infection. Carrots, cabbage, egg yolks and fish oils are rich source of this vitamin. Vitamin C not just helps your child to fight off common cold but it also helps body to recover from wounds and to strengthen blood vessels’ walls. Melon and citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin B Complex plays a key role in keeping the body fit and healthy and it can be derived from grain products and meat.

Top 10 Healthy Snacks for Kids' Lunches

It is impossible to imagine the daily diet of young children without snacks. Treat your little ones with a variety of snacks but make sure they are healthy too. There is no doubt that preparing snacks for the lunch-time in school is not that easy because kids don’t want to munch on things that don’t look interesting and tickle their taste buds. In order to save every parent from this mayhem, we are presenting here 10 great snacking ideas for lunch.

1. Popcorn

You must be surprised to hear the name of popcorn as a healthy snack, right? But the truth is, it is a healthy food. Although popcorn has earned the bad reputation of being a junk food but it is a nutritious source of whole grain. Popcorn is that sure-shot hit with kiddies. It is not just filling, but a great source of fibre too. Your child can get 4 grams of fibre from 3 cup serving of this versatile snack.

There are lots of ways to spice up the taste of popcorn. You can decorate the air-popped ones with grated cheese or a dollop of butter. You can also add sugar and cinnamon to enhance its taste as well as nutritional value.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt, the rich source of calcium and protein, can also be a great choice for your kid’s craving during lunch time. Yogurt helps your children to develop strong bones particularly during the early development phase. Yogurt also contains a variety of good bacteria that keep the digestive system healthy. In case your child doesn’t like the natural flavour of yogurt, you can spice it up with sugar, fruit cubes or a spoon of honey.

3. Peanut Butter

When you are looking for great lunch snacking options for your school-going kids, natural peanut butter is a wonderful source of protein and good fats. Bananas, celery and whole-grain crackers helps your kids to derive right amount of nutrients without consuming too much of sugar or artificial ingredients. You can prepare your kids' dose of peanut butter with additional help from celery and raisins. Or, you could also pack a simple peanut butter sandwich for lunch. This is a perfect blend of protein, fats and carbohydrates.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal has always been a favourite ingredient of our breakfast menu. This healthy and nutritious grain can also be utilised as a great snack for kids. Oatmeal is the powerhouse of soluble fibre. Such fibre is helpful in nurturing the good bacteria in the digestive tract and thus improving the digestion capacity of your kids apart from many other health benefits.

You must not fall for those flavoured packets of oatmeal containing high level of sugar. You should prepare your kid’s oatmeal from whole and rolled oats. To make the oat finger-licking good, you can add some cubes of your kid’s favourite fruit paired with a pinch of cinnamon. When you serve oatmeal with milk, it adds more protein and calcium to the platter.

5. Cottage Cheese

There is hardly anyone in this universe who ever said ‘no’ to cheese. Cheese is an extremely delicious and satisfying food for sure. When it comes to adding protein and calcium to your kid’s lunch menu, what can be better than cottage cheese? Cottage cheese flaunts a creamy and fresh texture that makes consumption smooth even for children. Loaded with protein, Vitamin B12, calcium and selenium, cottage cheese assists in overall growth and brain development in kids. Make that cottage cheese even more delicious by adding freshly cut fruits or dried fruits. You can also pair it with apple slices or carrot cubes to make a power-combo.

6. Nuts and Dried Fruits

Nuts and dried fruits are heavily loaded with nutrients which hold a host of health benefits particularly for your kids. Packed with minerals, essential vitamins, good fats, dietary fibre and antioxidants – nuts and dried fruits boost overall growth and development. Almonds, walnuts, raisins and cashews are the most favourite dried fruits across the globe. As nuts and dried fruits are the good source of iron, they also keep your children free of anaemic conditions. If your child is fussy and having difficulty in chewing them, you can grind them and pack them in a milkshake. You can also add nuts and dried fruits to fruit custard or to whole wheat chocolate muffins.

7. Banana Oat Cookies

Although banana, oat and cookie don’t seem to be a delicious combination but they can actually do great when put together. Healthy yet tasty snacks can be prepared from banana and oats. These cookies are yummy and full of nutrients. It is best if you bake them at your home. These cookies don’t contain refined sugar as they get their sweetness from mashed bananas. You can even serve them with a glass of milk to children with conditions like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart ailment.

8. Rice Balls

As the name suggests, rice balls are made of rice. Rice is rich in simple carbohydrates, which means your little one doesn’t have to struggle at all to digest this. Rice balls also come with sodium and proteins that help the body get energy. Best part is, these balls are free of sugar which means children with obesity or Type 2 diabetes can consume them without any health risk. You can add any sort of topping to rice balls to enhance their visual appeal and taste. Chunks of chocolate or caramelised sugar is also a good idea for kids.

9. Chocolate or Banana Smoothie

Chocolate is always a hit among children. This healthy ingredient can be made even more delicious when you blend it with some banana pieces, milk and crushed ice cubes. Chocolate Banana smoothie offers plenty of calories paired with carbs, protein and fats. You can top the smoothie with crushed Oreos or some Choco chips to make it irresistible.

10. Corn Chips or Baked Nachos

Chips and nachos are the tastiest ways to add more nutrition to your kid’s regular diet. High in fibre, protein and calories, they help children stay healthy without compromising on the taste. Baked nachos or corn chips are very easy to try at home. You can offer your child with a plate of nachos or corn chips along with a tasty dip like pudina dip, coriander chutney or even with hummus.

Tips to Get Kids to Eat Healthy

Eating well is essential to support the healthy growth and overall development of a child. Therefore, it is important to grow the habit of healthy eating within your kids right from the early years of their life. Here we are sharing few tips to instil good eating habits in your little angels.

1. Talk to Them About 'Good Food' and 'Bad Food'

A child never understands what the food actually does to his/her body. Kids majorly focus on the taste of the food. Therefore, you have to talk to them about the ‘good food’ and ‘bad food’. Make them aware of the benefits of healthy food habits with help of stories. While stories will keep them engaged, you can preach to them the message you have in your mind.

2. Make Food Appear Colourful and Appealing

A child’s mind always looks for surprises. Anything out of the box, catches the attention of their curious mind. Your purpose of making them eat healthy foods becomes easier if you decorate the food with colourful ingredients like bell peppers, carrot sticks, green peas and fruit slices. It is important that a kid feels happy with the food before he/she eats that.

3. Reward Healthy Food Habits Every Now and Then

Developing a healthy food habit is precious. If you are willing to bless your children with this amazing gift then you need to encourage them to stick to this habit. Pamper your children with small rewards when they try your veggie recipes for 5 days. Sometimes you can let them have their favourite junk food once a week (in small quantities) so that they don’t feel deprived of those alluring foods.

Related articles
From our editorial team

Eat Healthy and Exercise Too!

A balanced diet is not all that a kid needs. Along with healthy snacks and meals, ensure that your kid gets enough exercise by playing outside. Either get them playmates, or a pet to hang out with in the garden, or else if you can spare the time, you can also spend some time with the kids playing light games. Have fun!