Kids grow very fast. Their metabolism rate is much higher than that of adults. As a result, kids get hungry more often. A healthy snack between meals will satisfy the hunger and help the child to be more energetic throughout the day. Reaching out for junk food may be the most convenient, but not necessarily the best answer. Even though obesity is not a very common problem among Asian children in America, still statistics say that 8 out of 10 people over 25 are overweight. Therefore starting healthy habits early will give the child a head start towards a healthy life. It does not cost a whole lot more in terms of money or effort to provide healthy food alternatives.
You can keep fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low fat dairy products or whole grains in your little one's snack menu. Kids will enjoy their healthy snack (no kidding!) if they find it appealing. Avoid repeating the same snack everyday. A good idea is to make a snack menu for the whole week and keeping it handy. Then you do not have to think every time before serving a snack.
Some easy to make healthy snack recipes:
- Peel a banana, cut in small circular pieces. Pour any flavored yoghurt over the banana slices. Sprinkle a handful of crushed cereal on top.
- Dips are all time favorites for kids of all ages. You can use baby carrots, celery sticks, bell peppers, apple slices or plain crackers and serve them with yummy dips.
- If you have a little extra time you can make smoothies. In a blender put milk and fruits like banana, strawberries, and mangoes (seasonal) and blend them together. The delicious smoothie is ready in a few seconds.
- Cut apple slices serve them with peanut butter.
- Make yummy quesadillas in minutes. Take a tortilla; divide it in four equal halves. Take one half put some grated low fat cheese and fold. Arrange the four halves on a plate and microwave for 40 seconds. Serve the quesadilla with salsa dip or tomato ketchup.
- You can try making cheese and fruit kabobs for your little ones. Cut the fruits in cubes (fruit of your kid's choice) and make small chunks of mozzarella cheese. Use a toothpick to thread on to a fruit piece followed by the cheese. The fruit kabobs are ready.
- Cornflakes Chivda (source:www.indiaparenting.com)
1 packet of plain ordinary corn flakes
5 tps coconut oil or any oil
little turmeric, salt, sugar, chilli powder
8 curry leaves, little khuskhus-poppy seeds, little til seeds, little jeera, and mustard seeds.
Heat oil and put all the above ingredients except sugar and corn flakes 1 by 1. After all are fried then put corn flakes and fry them for just a while. They will turn nice and crispy. At the end put little sugar or no sugar as it is optional.
- Make a cracker sandwich by putting a slice of low fat cheese in between. You can serve it with tomato soup.
- If you do not have time to make anything or if you want some snack "on the go"; Trail mixes, Granola bars or cheerio bars are filling and healthy snack options.