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Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice that one should adopt from a very early age. We often hear people say: “Let the kids enjoy their food. Don’t restrict them from such an early age.” It is said so because your kids should enjoy their food thoroughly. But at the same time, as a parent, letting them eat anything and everything is not the right way to go about it.
Our children need food that helps them in their overall growth. Food has a significant impact on your child’s physical as well as mental growth. Planning their diet is imperative for their healthy growth. Starting from an early age helps the kid grow up liking healthy food, and being less inclined towards instant gratification through junk and processed food.
A healthy diet can have a massive impact on a child’s mental and emotional health, mood swings, anxiety, disorders, and even depression. A healthy body keeps the mind happy and healthy as well.
Just like adults, kids also have their nutrition requirement to feel healthy, active, and energetic. It is great if your kid eats everything including poultry, eggs, beans, peas, seafood, lean meat, dairy, and soy products because they are as it is picky eaters. Do not stop them from eating these. Instead, use these as alternatives so that they stay away from processed and junk food. Snacking on fruits and nuts is a great idea.
Because kids usually associate healthy with boring and “not tasty”, here are some healthy snacks for kids that will even leave the pickiest eaters out there wanting more:
Super rich in fibre and minerals, chia pudding is nutritious and an absolute visual treat. All you need to do is mix chia seeds and milk in a 1:4 proportion and refrigerate it overnight. The chia seeds swell and form pudding which can be topped with fruits, nuts, and granola to make it look pretty and colourful.
When your kids are involved in several physical activities like cycling, dancing, karate, etc. they need constant energy supplies to keep them going. You can make these fun and tasty energy balls of cocoa powder, ragi, oats, almonds, nuts, and dates. They are instant energy boosters and are loaded with iron, fibre, and protein. They also work as a healthier version of chocolates.
Cookies are definitely kids’ favourite snacks, but they are very high in sugar and calories. You can easily switch them with banana cookies that are made with multigrain flour. They need no extra refined sugar because they get bananas’ natural sweetness and they are loaded with fibre.
Kids never like to eat green leafy vegetables or salads but we know how important they are. Just play around with the presentation, and sneakily stuff spinach and vegetables such as beetroot along with chickpea in the sandwich/patty along with their favourite sandwich spread. They will never even know that they just ate such a healthy meal which they would have otherwise despised.
When we say healthy, we have never meant boring. Your kids need those little treats in between to feel good and enjoy their food. Whenever you squeeze fresh juice for your little ones, always freeze the pulp or the juice itself in ice cubes with a spoon or stick in between to make a popsicle. When they crave ice cream or sweet treats just give them these colourful treats and they’ll be super happy to slurp.
Kids love those chocolates with nuts and fruits but they’ll never eat them at home. So be a smart parent, and mix in some oats, wheat flakes, dried fruits like raisins, berries, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, seeds like pumpkin, flax, and watermelon together with honey or some other binding agency that is sweet but healthy. Pour the batter on a foil paper, cut them into rectangles, or squares and freeze them until they are hard enough to be eaten as a bar. You have homemade fruit and nut bars ready!
Nuggets make up for great evening snacks. You can simply use all the leftover veggies or use soya to make beautiful little nuggets. You can air fry them or bake them. Serve them with a nice healthy dip and your kids are going to love you forever.
If your child has a sweet tooth, then this carrot halwa is perfect for them. Carrot is a great source of vitamin A and ghee provides essential fatty acids to boost brain health. Sweeten it with jaggery or honey for a light, healthy treat.
Kids tend to be picky eaters, so it takes extra effort to feed them items like fruits or leafy vegetables. The healthy snacks for kids that I shared above are very easy and quick to make. They will help in giving your kid a balanced diet that has a good nutritional value and taste too. Healthy food can help prevent obesity, anxiety, and other mental health issues as well. Plan their meals carefully to encourage the overall development of children.