It is no secret that a healthy diet has plenty of benefits for the mind and body. Parents, especially, are very particular about feeding nutritious and timely meals to their children. But as children start school and become more physically active, their appetite also sees an uptick and they feel hungry between meals. Chances are, this is the time of the day when your kid would feel tempted to gorge on junk food.
It is vital for parents to tend to these hunger pangs the right way. Hopefully, our quick and simple ideas will make snack time for kids as healthy as it is yummy.
Say Cheese! (And Veggies)
Trade your regular cheese toast with its healthier cousin. Stir-fry veggies like capsicum, tomato and broccoli with a dash of garlic. Season it with salt and pepper and transfer the mixture onto the bread, preferably wholegrain. Layer the mixture with cheese and toss it into the oven. The combined aroma of melted cheese and flavor-packed veggies is sure to lure in your little ones and have them asking for multiple repeats.
Salad may not be your kid’s preferred snack but there sure are ways to turn that around. Figure out the dressing that your kid is likely to enjoy the most and build your salad around it. A lot also depends on the presentation so make sure to gussy it up with toppings of their choice. We’d recommend giving the ‘chana chaat’ a wholesome spin by mixing the chickpeas with freshly chopped fruits and vegetables and small cubes of paneer or feta cheese. Chickpeas and paneer join forces in this salad to provide a double kick of protein to your child. To take things up a notch and add some crunch, you could also throw in some nuts. Lemon and olive oil dressing pairs really well with this salad, but feel free to customize this colorful and flavorful bowl of goodness!
Nothing says sinful indulgence quite like a bag of fries. But no matter how good they taste, they’re far from being an ideal everyday option. Give your same-old fries a healthy overhaul, by replacing the potato with either sweet potato or carrot. Low in calories and high in fiber, this baked alternative is just as delicious, if not more! Toss thinly chopped carrot sticks or sweet potato wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper. To give it a zesty spin, go ahead and sprinkle some paprika and oregano. Bake until they’re golden-brown for about 20 minutes and let it cool. Lastly, dig in with your kids - minus the guilt of course.
It’s a bit of a task to get children to savour oatmeal. But there are ways in which parents can sneakily feed their kids this whole-grain, which is packed with soluble fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Oats and besan cheela is one such way. A much more nutritious riff on your regular cheela, all you need to do is add powdered oat to your gram flour and spices mixture and then go about it the usual way. Health made simple.
It is possible to indulge your kid’s sweet tooth without having to feed them sugary chocolates and cookies. The mango and coconut popsicle for example, contains only natural sugar and tastes heavenly! First up, blend coconut flesh and mango chunks in a food processor till you achieve a creamy consistency. Add chia seeds and give it a good whisk before pouring the puree into popsicle molds. Because it does take about 4-5 hours to prepare, make sure to freeze it ahead of time. Long on summertime goodness and short on hassle, this utterly simple popsicle recipe is what we call the perfect sweet escape.