Tips to pack healthy snacks for your child

Tips to pack healthy snacks for your child

Apart from main meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks are an essential part of a child’s diet. Snacking helps him or her to stay energetic throughout the day and also ensures wholesome nutrition by allowing you to fit in all major food groups easily. However, snacks must be as healthy and natural as possible and not junk foods, which are loaded with sugar, salt or fat. Plus, the quantity should be such that it doesn’t hamper your child’s appetite for main meals. So, here are a few snack ideas you will find useful:

Snack ideas for kids

If you are struggling to find healthy snack recipes for your kid, you can check these out:

  1. Wheat ladoo- Made of whole wheat, coconut shavings, sesame seeds and jaggery, these ladoos are delicious, healthy, and easy to digest. These ladoos make for an amazing snack for all age groups.
  2. Dry fruit milkshakes - Milkshakes provide ample nutrition and keep your child full for a long time too. In case your kids refuse to drink milk, it can be fortified with some dry fruits or chopped fresh fruits. Dry fruits are high in monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. They are a great source of magnesium and potassium too. Moreover, they provide fibre and protein.
  3. Vegetable cutlets- Easy, simple, and delicious, these cutlets can make for wholesome evening snacks. You can use a variety of colourful veggies and shallow fry or air fry the cutlets for maximum benefits.
  4. Ragi biscuits-These are whole-grain biscuits, which are light in texture and great for snack time. These biscuits can provide lots of fibre, calcium and healthy carbohydrates.
  5. Noodles - Homemade vegetable noodles are one of the favourite snacks of kids. To make it healthy and filling, use lots of different veggies and herbs. If your kid is a non-vegetarian, you can add eggs or chicken strips too.

Tips to make snacks healthy and safe:

  1. Balanced diet- A balanced snack should include a fruit, a veggie, and a protein. It is best to have a source of protein or fat in the diet to keep the toddler feeling full for long.
  2. Safe snack time - Let your child play and crawl around. Make him sit straight when he eats to avoid choking.
  3. Colourful snacks- Toddlers get attracted to vibrant colours, so make the snacks more colourful and power-packed with nutrients. Serving red tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, oranges, carrots, and watermelon is a great idea.
  4. Minimal amounts of sugar and salt - Make sure the snacks contain zero or minimal amounts of sugar and salt. Otherwise, your toddler might develop an unhealthy taste for these.
  5. Fruits and vegetables: Snacks for kids should include fresh fruits and vegetables. Since most kids are fussy, they might not want to eat these if not served attractively. So, try and cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes like stars, flowers, triangles and so on.
  6. Check the utensils: Always serve snacks in durable, safe utensils that won’t break. Make sure you use something which doesn’t spill food easily.
  7. Teach portion control: Give your child small servings rather than large potions. But the chunks should not be large as these can cause choking.
  8. Easy to chew foods: It’s better to peel fruits and vegetables before serving, as this will make it easier to chew, hold and digest them better.
  9. Avoid mess: If you are packing your child’s snacks for a trip or the day care centre, use containers or boxes that are spill-proof and leak-proof. Avoid giving foods that release water. You can use insulated lunch boxes to keep the items more palatable. Provide fluids in thermos flasks.