Perfect Guide For Making Healthy Snacks For Kids At School
A Super-Easy Guide For Making Healthy Snacks For Kids At School
“Aubergine? In a pizza?! I am not eating THAT!” How many times do parents hear things like that when they try to make their kids eat healthy? Making healthy food that excites and delights young children is an art. Developing palettes are often sensitive to the bitter flavors of a lot of healthy vegetables, and often, what tastes delicious to an adult, tastes absolutely unappetizing to a child.
Healthy eating can help children maintain a healthy weight, avoid certain health problems, stabilize their energy, and sharpen their minds. A healthy diet can also have a profound effect on a child’s sense of mental and emotional wellbeing, helping to prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD.
A lot of times, as teachers we do notice, when a child is not concentrating, is distracted, cranky or throws tantrums, 90% of the times, he has not eaten breakfast or a healthy and fulfilling snack. The children at school are mostly in a hurry to complete their food so as to get more play time during their breaks and end up eating less or not eating at all. In such cases, it becomes a responsibility of the parent to give a healthy, easy to eat a snack that the children will not skip.
Here are seven easy, effective — and often enjoyable — ways to encourage your kids to make healthy food choices, without mealtime battles:
Avoid Being The Food Police-
Forcing kids to eat foods they hate is a recipe for rebellion, resentment, and frustration. Instead, only stock your pantry and fridge with a variety of tasty, wholesome options — and ditch the junk. That way, every dietary choice your child makes in your home will be a good one.
Introduce Healthy New Dishes Each Week, While Continuing To Serve One Or Two Familiar Foods-
The goal is to quickly eliminate the worst foods your kids currently eat, as you replace them with wholesome choices, such as soup, salad, fruit, and homemade desserts made with healthy ingredients. Keep in mind that kids often need to try a new food several times before they decide to like it.
Entice Your Children To Love Veggies-
Try this strategy of adding greens to a fruit smoothie for a nutrition boost. Adding small amounts of a new vegetable to one that your child already likes can help increase the nutrition value. Visual appearance matters a lot to kids and hence veggies may interest them and even taste better when shaped into smiley faces, hearts or stars. Adding a little vanilla, chat masala or jaggery often goes a long way in getting them interested in the otherwise bland food.
Play With Your Food-
Make learning about nutrition enjoyable by turning it into a game. You can name different foods and your child gives a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” For particularly healthy foods, such as carrots, she gives thumbs up, while items like ice cream and soda get two thumbs down. There are other games or words like ‘Good for Brain”, “Good for Eye”, “Bad for teeth”, etc.
Let Kids Choose Their Own “Parent-Approved” Snacks-
Another easy way to help kids make great food decisions, even at a young age, to have a “snack shelf” of nutritious foods they can reach themselves. By encouraging your kids to make their own decisions about what to eat (from an assortment of healthy options), they start learning to take responsibility for their nutrition.
One of the best ways to help your kids form a healthy relationship with food is by teaching them to connect what they eat with how they feel. If your kids eat something nutritious, ask them how they feel. Suggest names for these feelings, such as “energized” or “happy.” Or if they eat sugar, point out if they “are more hyper” or when they “get a time-out more often.”
Now that you know the different ways of making food interesting, here are some interesting easy to make healthy snacks for kids at school.
Granola Bars (Honey And Nuts)
These bars have no added sugar—just wholesome ingredients for steady, sustained energy.
Apple Peanut Butter Cookies (Apples & Peanut Butter)
This snack has little added sugar, and it satisfies kids’ cravings for cookies in a snap of crisp, refreshing apple.
Sweet Potato Baked Chips
The sweet potato adds a healthy dose of vitamin A and carotenoids to snack time.
Honey Coated Banana
Honey-sweetened bananas make the perfect stand-in for a less-healthy candy.
Baked Apple Chips
Reach for low calorie baked apple chips instead of greasy potato chips. These are packed with carbs, heart-friendly fiber, and potassium.
Cucumber And Carrot Sticks With Dip/Hummus
Delicious, snackable carrots contain heaps of beta-carotene that is great for healthy skin. The fiber aids digestion and keeps weight gain in check. Carrots are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins like A, C, and K. These crisp, refreshing cucumber bites contain hardly any calories per serving.
Yogurt And Fresh Fruit
Adding naturally sweet fruits like strawberry or kiwi is the perfect way to liven up your frozen yogurt without compromising your diet.
Mini Fruit Kebabs
A fun way to combine dietary fiber, protein, and tons of vitamins and minerals. You can add a little chat masala for a fun twist and flavour.
Fresh popcorn made from corn seeds with a sprinkle of salt is quite a healthy, light and yummy snack.
Multigrain Crackers And Cheese
Complex carbs prevent these crackers make them harder for your body to break down, while the cheese adds protein to the mix.
Date Nut Ladoo
Ladoos made of a mixture of dates, jaggery and nuts make for a healthy snack and a sweet-tooth satisfier.
These are simple yet tasty recipes that account for healthy quotient too! Do try the tricks and recipes and let us know what worked or didn’t in the comments below!
Healthy eating for your little ones!
Written by – Ms. Rishika Nasta