Kids do end up feeling hungry ever so often. This is especially true if they are at an age when they are forever running around or playing sports. The times when they are ravenous are when they get back from school or from playing outdoors. There is also the boredom-driven hunger when they come into the kitchen every couple of hours to see if there’s something interesting to eat, especially during school holidays. Many a time, they forget to drink enough water which may also make them feel that they are hungry – so along with some healthy snacking alternative, hydration is important as well.
What is a healthy snack for kids? When we say the word ‘snack’, the first thing that most kids think of is a bag of chips, cookies, juices or some other ready to eat and processed, high-sugar, high-sodium food. The composition of snacks should be no different than that of a meal, but in a compact, reduced portion. Snacks should have no added sugar and provide two or more of the following - whole grains, protein, vitamins and minerals, calcium and fibre.
A good snack should also not be high in sodium and be devoid of any preservatives.
Here are some healthy snacks that you can either keep handy at home or have made without too much effort so that the hunger pangs are catered to in a planned manner.
- Seasonal fruits (banana, watermelon, orange, mango, pomegranate, guava, grapes)
- Cheese (keep cubes or slices so it is pre-portioned)
- Nuts (keep small portions of mixed nuts)
- Boiled corn (stock up on frozen corn, microwave in a bowl with water+salt, drain and add finely chopped onions, coriander and lemon juice)
- Peanut butter or cheese on whole grain toast
- Apple or pear pieces with peanut butter
- Smoothies (keep a portion of fruits, spinach frozen in bags and blend with yogurt and honey)
- Aloo Chaat (Keep boiled potatoes in the fridge)
- Cheese dosas (stock up on dosa batter)
- Homemade muffins loaded with fruits (banana, apple, pear) or vegetables (carrot, pumpkin, beet, zucchini) or a mix of both, and minimal sugar
- Veggie sticks with hummus
- Plain yogurt with chopped seasonal fruits, nuts and honey
Keep some ready mixes such as the Tata Sampann Multigrain Chilla Mix, Tata Sampann Multi-Dal Chilla Mix or the Tata Sampann Moong Dal Chilla Mix which helps in preparing delicious yet healthy snacks.
Here are some ideas:
Pinwheels- Prepare chillas using the Mix. Spread pizza sauce and sprinkle grated cheese over the chilla. Roll up and cut into ½” thickness to make bite sized pinwheels. You could also follow our easy-to-make-chilla recipe mentioned on the back of the Chilla Mix packs.
Paniyaram- Make a thick batter using the chilla mix. Add finely chopped onion, spinach, grated carrots and paneer. Either make bite sized dosas / pancakes or use a paniyaram pan smeared with a little oil to make paniyarams.
Quesadilla- Prepare chillas using premix. Spread sauteéd vegetables like bell peppers, onions and mushrooms on one side. Top with grated cheese. Fold in half and cook until the cheese melts and cut into 3-4 pieces for a quesadilla like snack.
Spring dosa- Prepare chillas using the Mix. Top with a layer of finely shredded cabbage, carrot, bell pepper and onion tossed in a little soya sauce. Fold over and serve.
You can always keep your kids well sated with nutritious, healthy and filling snacks, using Tata Sampann’s range of Ready-to-Cook Mixes. Also, if you do have any interesting go-to recipes, please do mention them in the comments section below.
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