Healthy snacking ideas for toddlers and kids-If there is one thing that is very challenging yet could be very rewarding and satisfying for moms,that would be making their toddlers/kids eat healthy food. But children are more inclined towards snacking that too they get swayed by ads or colorful stuff they see in shops (don’t ask me even if a toddler would be attracted,they are indeed!). Of course we cannot completely omit snacks,as snack also forms the integral part of the diet,healthy snacking keeps the toddlers going,boosts up their energy also bridges the gap between meals. Kids with less appetite tend to eat smaller portions and healthy snacks will be a boon for such kids.Only thing we at home can do is attract them more towards healthy snacks,homemade and hygienic that will also cater their needs. Preparing healthy snacks that kids/toddlers will really enjoy is definitely not a difficult task,but the one that needs little thinking,planning and loads of patience :). In this post I have ideas for healthy snack recipes,making food enjoyable for kids and also list of ingredients to stock for healthy snacking. These are collected from various sources like cook books,magazines,through friends and few ideas of my own. I hope you find this post practical and useful.
Make food enjoyable for kids/toddlers:
1. Toddlers get attracted towards various shapes and colors. Try serving food plenty in colors and also serve them in various colored plates and bowls. Now adding color to the food should be fun and healthy right,try adding different colored fruit purees or veggies in their food,think variety!
Check these recipes to see how you can sneak in veggies in different dishes.
2. Never encourage kids to drink bottled juice or even those brands that says 100% fruit juice is not really so. Instead offer them various juice blends,try unusual combos and hit the one they love the most. Adding milk or yogurt to fruits will easily help you balance the dairy intake too. These milkshakes,smoothies makes for a great snack or even breakfast.
3. Filling snacks that can be a meal in itself
Think about snacks that can be really filling and are a meal in itself. Kids love to eat food holding in their hands,so finger food are always work well. Try making stuffed parathas and cut them into different shapes,kathi rolls etc or cutlets or patties are always liked by kids.
Try these easy and healthy filling snacks
Many kids eat bread without much fuss but we all are obviously worried about too much intake of white bread,switch to whole wheat,brown or even better multi grain bread,they can really not make out the difference. Also add as much as veggies in bread recipes to make them nutritious.
Try Chilli bread
5. Multi grain flour.
Try to avoid using maida as far as possible and substitute multi grain nutritious flour (sathu mavu) as it is one power house of nutrition and it is really tasty too. Toddlers may fuss about the porridge or gruel made of sathu mavu but try using this flour in dosa,cookies,sweets etc instead of maida.
6. Dairy products
For those kids who are not very fond of milk,you can try adding custard powder and fruits to the milk,try feeding them with paneer (home made is best) to balance.
7. Make regular dosa and idly more interesting by making them colorful,changing the shape like star dosa,A,B,C dosa or make idlys in mini idly moulds. Also keep changing these ideas to avoid boredom.
Soups can be excellent snacks for kids and toddlers. They are full of nutrition,highly recommended and very important they do not let the hunger for lunch of dinner go away. When you serve a soup around 11 Am or 4Pm,they will be ready for lunch/dinner by time yet very energetic. Soups are a great after school snack. Just try out various soups with different colors,flavors by adding a variety of veggies.
Try these interesting combinations
9. Have some make ahead snacks that are healthy too handy,so that toddlers/kids ca grab one or two on the go.
Pottukadalai urundai (Excellent source of protein)
10. Last but not least,the very important point is kids/toddlers are ultimate imitators,they tend to do what parents/adults do,so it is very important to eat healthy real food in front of them,so they also do the same. If your kids 3+,you can take them along with you for shopping and encourage them to shop for fruits and veggies. It is also a widely accepted point that kids love to involve themselves in kitchen and they tend to eat the food ith interest if they were involved in preparing.
These are few points I have read,collected and also implemented,please let me know if you have more to share,thank you 🙂