Monday, July 30, 2012

Healthy snack ideas for kids

 Kids are picky eaters and not eating enough at meal times is a common complaint. That's why snacks play an important role in providing the extra nutrition that they tend to miss out. Most parents tend to focus more on providing a nutritious meal and overlook the importance of giving healthy snacks. Chips, cookies, cheese puffs, cupcakes are convenient snacks but not the healthiest choices. Here are some healthy snack ideas for kids:
  • Sandwiches (with 100% whole wheat breads)-you can use cheese, tofu, nut/peanut butter, guacamole, paneer, egg, vegetables as the filling.
  • Seasonal fresh fruits-cut them up in fun shapes/ sizes(use a melon scooper/cookie cutter), mix them in low-fat yogurt, make smoothies or plain fruit salads.Fruit and cheese kebabs are also a fancy way of serving fruits that kids will love.
  • Fresh vegetables: cut them into strips and serve with dips like guacamole, hummus, peanut/almond butter.
  • Steamed snacks: like idli's/vegetable stuffed idlis, dhoklas, khandvi's can be cut/decorated into fun shapes.
  • Mini- rolls/burritos: whole wheat chapathis/rotis can be used to make rolls with egg/paneer/tofu burji(scrambled), rajma/ channa, mung(pulses/lentils) curry/usal or cheese spread.
  • Tikkis/cutlets can be made with soy chunks, mixed vegetables, lentils and shallow fried or baked (instead of deep fried). These can also be served inside a pita bread or sandwich.
  • Mini/triangle/cone dosas/uttapams: these fun size/baby dosas can be more interesting for kids than the regular adult size ones. Serve them with chutney/ketchup/peanut butter (you can even draw a smiley face on the dosa with it)!
  •  Nuts and dry-fruits: older children can be given a handful of mixed nuts and dry fruits.
These snacks can be served with either a glass of low-fat milk/soy milk, water, 100% fruit juices or homemade juices.
Make sure to serve these snacks at least two hours before meal times, otherwise they may not be hungry enough for it.
Here's a great clip that I found on CDC-TV- it introduces Coyote, a trickster and teaches kids the difference between healthy snacks and sweets:

Tricky Treats. Flash Player 9 is required.

2 comments:

Ameena said...

Wish I could make idli's! That would be the perfect snack.

Sweta said...

@Ameena- idli batters are available at all the Indian stores. They even have the idli steamers-try them.