Fulfil Your Kids’ Nutrition Needs with Healthy Snacks
It's common with kids wanting something different and new to eat every time. And, cooking for them is a daunting task for almost all parents. You don’t only face difficulties pleasing them but their cravings for an enthusiastic taste and wish to try varieties create more challenges. Though they don’t think about nutrition much, their first desire is to eat tasty snacks. However, as a parent, you must take care of your child, preventing him/her from consuming too much junk food. When, in the battle of taste vs health, the former always wins, you might be looking for some delicious healthy snacks for kids Indian. You can add some pulses, veggies, and check out the below guide to pleasing your child’s desires and nutrition needs.
Understand What Nutrients Does Your Child Need
Protein is essential for tissue and muscle development in a child’s body. It also boosts their immune system. You can include any of meat, milk, egg, fish, peanut butter, nuts, etc to give your kid the required protein feed. It helps build cells and break down the consumed food into energy, carry oxygen, and fight against infection.
Fibre is necessary for a healthy gut as well as digestion. It ensures regular and proper bowel functioning and minimizes the chances of developing cancer and heart diseases later. Some food items that contain fibre include flour, guavas, apples, oats, nuts, seeds, lentils, and chickpeas.
Iron is essential for developing a strong body as it helps a child to grow. It encourages the build-up of red blood cells, carries oxygen and transfers to the entire body. If your child does not consume the required amount of iron, he/she may suffer from anemia. Beans, red meats, iron-fortified cereal, green leafy vegetables, poultry, and nuts are some examples of iron sources.
Calcium makes teeth and bones stronger. It is essential for muscle, heart functioning, nerve, and blood clotting. The best calcium source is milk while other sources include cheese, broccoli, spinach, yogurt, tofu, egg yolks, etc.
Vitamin C helps build and strengthen a child’s immune system and brains as well as encourages healing from scrapes and cuts. It does so by holding cells of the body together and strengthening the blood vessels' walls. Food items like tomatoes, melons, papayas, broccoli, cabbage, mangos, strawberries, etc. contain a huge amount of Vitamin C.
Vitamin D builds healthy and strong bones. It is essential for calcium absorption in the child’s body. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight.
Carbohydrates provide energy to children and help them stay active. Another function is to help kids’ bodies use protein and fat for repairing and building tissues. Some good carbohydrate sources are oats and flour. Other foods that include carbohydrates are rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, crackers, and cereals.
Improvement in metabolism and brain development needs fats. These are a good energy source for children and get easily stored in the body of a kid. They help with blood clotting and allow the body to absorb vitamins. Foods like cooking oils, nuts, dairy products, fish, meat, and flax seeds are good sources of healthy fat.
Top 10 Healthy Snacks for Kids at Home
Here's a list of healthy snacks for kids Indian that you can prepare at home and get your little one to eat healthier as well as tasty.
The best snack for a child is Yogurt because it contains a good amount of calcium as well as protein. While calcium is essential for developing bones, yogurt also contains bacteria that help improve the digestive system. Take full fat and plain yogurt and add sweeten it with honey or fresh fruits.
In case, your child doesn’t like to eat yogurt, you can prepare various dishes from it and use it in several cuisines. Make fruit shakes, creamy frozen or salad dips by adding the right amount of yogurt. Kids who eat yogurt daily are known to have their digestive systems streamlined better and strong health maintained. Besides, the amount of protein also helps your child get the required energy while controlling body weight.
You might not consider these as proper but popcorns are nutritious whole grains. And, this could be one of the healthiest snacks for your child. Air-pop your popcorn and, on the top, add grated cheese or some butter. The kernel of every popcorn is a seed that offers various health benefits and comprises of germ, endosperm, and bran like many other whole grains. Besides, the presence of a huge amount of fibre is beneficial for digestion as well. Popcorns are also a good energy source wherein carbohydrates keep your child energetic all day long. Every grain of popcorn is loaded with B3 and B6 vitamins, pantothenic acid, and folate. Regularly consuming popcorns protects kids from any type of infection and helps the brain to function properly. It also contains iron.
You can make various dishes from popcorn such as honey and banana popcorn, spicy and cheesy popcorn, popcorn lemony, buttered popcorn, coconut, and almond popcorn.
Nuts are rich in nutrients such as healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, and protein. All these nutrients help a child learn, develop, and grow. You can choose from a variety of nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamias, etc. Add them to your kid’s regular diet and help minimize his/her cholesterol, diabetes risk, heart disease, and maintain blood pressure.
Nuts are healthy for the heart as they contain fatty acids. Besides, these are also good sources of vitamins E, B, protein, manganese, and folate. Nuts are also packed with essential minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, potassium, selenium, and zinc. They are important for brain development in kids and maintain their immune system’s strength. You can add varieties for your child by cooking them as boiled or roasted. And, you can prepare more range in the form of products like peanut oil, almond or peanut flour, and peanut butter.
Frozen Fruity Cup
Summers are here and the best recipe for your kids this season could be the frozen fruity cup. The goodness of slushy fruity adds more fun to a summer night party. You can prepare, store, and serve it in sealed jars having close lids in a freezer. If you don’t have big jars, you can use plastic cups or serve them in bowls. And, for this, you have options to choose from various fruit choices.
To make Frozen Fruity Cup, you need oranges, mangos, frozen peaches, some pineapple chunks, diced and fresh strawberries, bananas, lemon juice, and orange or pineapple juice concentrate. Blend all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl. Place the mix into disposable plastic cups or jars and cover with a foil or plastic wrap. In the end, freeze it for 45 minutes and then remove it to serve.
Corn Salad Snack
Corn Salad Snack is something that your kids will enjoy and you won’t have to make many hassles to prepare it. With an easy and quick recipe, you can make it mild or spicy as your kid loves it. The best part of this choice is that you can serve it as a side meal or a main dish. Make this salad a part of your kid’s regular diet or keep it for special occasions like a get-together or picnic.
Ingredients required for a corn salad snack include tomato, corn, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, cumin seeds, salt, and cream cheese. Corn off from the cab, wash with water and boil for at least 10 minutes. Then, drain and place it in a bowl. Put corn in oil heated on medium heat in a frying pan and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes. In another bowl, whisk lime juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil together. Turn off the heat after corn kernels are grilled, add chili, cumin seed powder, salt, cream cheese, and lemon juice. You can sprinkle feta cheese also.
Fruit and Nut Bars
A fruit and nut bar contains more sugar than that having choco chips. Fruits are good for child health and nuts contain protein, fiber, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins. For this recipe, you need almond/peanut butter, pitted dates, vanilla extract, honey, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, and dried fruits.
Mix chopped pitted dates in a bowl. Melt honey, peanut butter, and vanilla in a frying pan over medium heat with a minute of stirring. In another bowl, mix pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, oats, and almonds. Add this mixture into the frying pan and freeze for around 30 minutes. Once frozen, cut it into short bars for storage and later use.
Fruit Smoothie / Smoothie Bowls
How would you like the idea of nutrients packed in a small snack? Yes, a fruit smoothie is something that fulfills the purpose with some veggies and fruits combined for a healthy and tasty result. The best thing about this, your child won’t even judge the health part. Though you should always use fresh and whole ingredients and avoid using fruit juices that contain a high amount of sugar.
There are various recipes you can try like berry smoothie, honey, hazelnut, and banana smoothie, creamy coconut and mango smoothie, and breakfast smoothie. And, for smoothie bowls, use yogurt, frozen raspberries, milk, coconut flakes, and bananas. Blend puree bananas, milk, chia seeds, and raspberries until smooth. Serve it in a bowl and add toasted and granola coconut, if you like.
Trail Mix (Snack Mix)
If your kid is not allergic to nuts, trail mix is a perfectly healthy option. Most of the commercial trail mixes have chocolate candies containing a huge amount of sugar but you can make a healthier one at home.
Mix dried fruits, whole-grain cereals, and nuts followed by heating them in the oven over 375 degrees F. In a big bowl, toss peanuts, almonds, pretzels, pecans, cashews, pepitas, and cheerios with sugar, olive oil, rosemary, cayenne, pepper, and salt. Place this mixture of nuts on baking sheets and roast for 12-15 minutes until the nuts go golden or roasted. The trail mix is ready to serve.
Raagi cookies are quick, easy, healthy, and tasty snacks prepared with ragi (whole wheat) flour. Make these cookies go crisp in milk for evening or breakfast. To prepare this, measure and get all ingredients. Preheat the microwave oven to 180 degrees F for around 10 minutes followed by mixing sieve, wheat flour, ragi flour, salt, and baking powder. In a vessel, let some butter settle at room temperature and add brown sugar. Make a fine powder with grinding until fully melted. In the mixture of butter sugar, add vanilla essence, dry ingredients and make a soft dough with your hands. If required, add milk into it.
When the soft dough is ready, put it into the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. Then, take it from the fridge, make balls, and flatten them with your palm. Bake them into the preheated microwave oven for 15 to 20 minutes until cookies go brown at the bottom. It helps reduce wrinkles, maintain blood sugar, reduce weight, and improves the level of hemoglobin.
Vegetable Frankie made at home is a good option for your kids’ lunch or snacks. You need wheat flour, refined flour, and some oil to roast the roti. You can prepare various combinations of paneer, veggies, etc. Start by making a salad mixture, blend it well, and place it into the refrigerator. For roti, add atta, salt, maida, and oil, knead it, and then keep it covered with a cloth for at least 15 minutes.
Knead it again after 15 minutes, cut into four equal parts, heat, and make a chapatti followed by a potato roll. When all the things are ready, spread tomato ketchup over a chapati and then salad mixture and potato roll over it. You can drizzle it with date-tamarind and mint-cilantro chutney. Then shred some cheese over it, roll and wrap it with aluminum foil and serve immediately.
Improve Intake with Properly Divided Snack Timing
Most of the children do not eat recommended vegetables and fruits. Snack time provides a great opportunity to enhance their exposure and access to nutrient food. You can prepare healthy snacks for kids Indian and pair them with dairy substitutes and products like cheese, grapes, bread, whole-grain cereal, and lean proteins.
Bite Your Tongue.
As hard as this may be, try not to comment on what or how much your kids are eating. Be as neutral as possible. Remember, you've done your job as a parent by serving balanced meals; your kids are responsible for eating them. If you play food enforcer—saying things like "Eat your vegetables"—your child will only resist.