Children can be quite fussy, especially when it comes to eating healthy foods. And during the current situation of complete lockdown due to the ongoing deadly COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely arduous to meet the specific needs of kids while providing them with these mini food options.
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Evening hunger pangs are the most crucial part of the day for energetic kids. Now that they are always at home, and playing or doing some other activities, they mostly hanker about a lot of snacks all the time. Since groceries are also limited at this hour, for a parent to get the proper proportions of vegetables or any other food options is quite difficult.
Most kids look for food options that are inviting and it is up to you to provide them with something nutritious that will not only energize them to carry on with their playtime or studies but also satiate them for the rest of the day. While a glass of milk and crackers, might seem to be a healthy choice, kids nowadays tend to look for options that are tasty and appealing and hence it is quite a tiresome task for every parent out there, to meet their likes with a nutritious twist.
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Quite often, children get cranky if they don’t receive food at proper timings. A small snack in between meals prevent children from overeating at larger meals and for those who are picky eaters, snacks offer an extra advantage of providing necessary nutrients. The best snacking options should be healthy and nutritious, high on fibre, more on protein, and vitamins with less sugar, salt, and other added preservatives and fats. It can often be in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain or protein-rich options.
Children who are allowed to gorge on food throughout the day often end up developing unhealthy eating disorders and difficult time in figuring out when they are truly hungry. A well-balanced structured meal with a healthy nutritious snacking schedule is crucial in developing good eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight throughout childhood and the growing teenage years.
If you have already stocked up on your groceries and foods, depending upon the age of your child, you can try some of these below-mentioned snacking options:
Nutritious Mini-Meals For Kids Of Different Age Groups:
Snacks For Kids Below 2:
Most toddlers may not have the patience to eat full meals at a particular time and they often end up getting hungry before the next meal. Kids at this age require 3 proper meals along with 2-3 snack times to remain energetic and satiated throughout the day.
Snacking options for toddlers can consist of small pieces of cut-up fruit, graham crackers broken into pieces, applesauce, yogurt, sliced cucumber, avocado cubed or on bread, or cheese slices.
Snacks For Kids Below 5:
Kids at this stage slowly learn their feelings, as to when they are hungry and when they are not. But quite often they are choosy and try to pick their desired snack options. Most kids below 5 have a strong urge for sugary items and often hanker about candies, cookies, and chocolates. Hence, try keeping these sugary items out of sight to prevent kids from gorging on them.
Healthy snacking options for kids at the pre-school level include sliced or chopped boiled veggies, yogurt, a whole-grain cracker with cheese toppings, apple sauce, sliced fruits, apple chips, raisins, a handful of dry fruits, etc.
Snacks For Kids Above 5:
Kids at this age are quite active and busy and require a lot of energy to meet their daily needs for preparing their worksheets, home works, lessons, to keep up with the school and be ready for the new academic year. At this age, kids start learning about healthy foods and are capable of understanding their importance. If you explain to them the need for these healthy foods is to strengthen their body from getting infections, they can also make their own snacks even in your absence.
Snacking options for these kids comprises of cut-up veggies, hummus, and whole wheat pita bread, low-fat cheese, celery with peanut butter and raisins, fruit smoothies, popcorn with a drizzle of low-fat butter or cheese, banana oat cookies, nuts, kale chips, hard-boiled eggs, a piece of fruit, whole-grain crackers with nut butter, apple slices with peanut butter dip, etc.
Although you can cook up your own recipe depending upon your kid’s requirements or choice of food, this article shares one such mouth-watering snacking alternative that is not only healthy but also equally delicious and most liked by kids of all ages:
Healthy Snack Recipes:
Baked Bread Cheese Balls
2 slices brown bread
2 medium-sized potatoes (boiled and mashed)
½ tsp ginger paste
2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
¼ tsp pepper powder
¼ cumin or jeera powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
For Corn Flour Batter:
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp wheat flour
¼ tsp pepper powder
1/3 tsp salt
Water as per requirement
In a large bowl, mix the mashed potatoes and the spices altogether.
Remove the bread sides and crush the bread and mix it along with the potato till it becomes a soft non-sticky dough.
In another bowl, make a fluid batter using water, corn flour, wheat flour, salt, and pepper.
Beat the batter properly until there are no lumps.
Take a small ball of potato mixture, flatten it slightly and insert the cheese cube in between.
Get the edges together and circle them on your palm to get a small smooth ball.
Now dip the ball in the cornflour batter and roll the ball in crushed corn flakes or breadcrumbs so that the ball is totally covered.
Preheat the oven, place all the balls on a buttered tray and bake it at 180 ° C for 15 - 20 minutes.
Make your kid happy by serving these yummy sizzling hot baked cheese balls with tomato dip or ketchup.
4 slices of whole wheat bread
½ cup boiled chana
1 mashed potato
¼ cup beetroot (grated)
¼ cup sliced cabbage (steamed)
¼ cup sliced carrots (boiled)
2 tbsp finely chopped sprig onions
⅓ tsp black pepper
¼ cup coriander leaves (chopped)
1 tsp red chili flakes
Salt as required
½ tsp garam masala
Butter or ghee as required
½ tsp lemon juice
Take a large mixing bowl.
Make the veggie spread by adding all the chana, boiled vegetables, mashed potato, salt, pepper, spices and coriander leaves in it.
Whip up everything to get a thick paste.
Now apply some ghee or butter onto the sliced bread.
Take a big scoop of the veggie spread and apply a thick layer all over the bread.
Put another slice on top and put it in the sandwich maker.
Grill till crisp and golden.
Remove and serve the hot chana sandwich with any dip or sauce of your choice.
This healthy chana sandwich is a complete package that is not only nutritious but also appetizing. Chickpeas being a good source of fiber and protein that helps satiate sudden hunger pangs and also promotes digestion. The array of vegetables used here gives the body a good boost of vitamins and minerals while also enhancing the taste of fussy eaters.