Children have a love-hate relationship with foods. They tend to fall on junk foods rather than healthy dishes. Parents tactfully need to divert their attention from junk foods to ensure your children not slipped into malnutrition. Children, particularly school going, need tons of protein, vitamins, and healthy fats in their diet due to the want of energy to learn and play. Feeding them healthy breakfast and evening snacks would give them enough calories, reducing the tendency to go for junk foods. But, you have to make these snacks interesting to impress your little ones. Here are 11 healthy Indian snacks for children that are easy and quick to make.
Children are often fond of sweets, and this wheat and jaggery ladoo will make the perfect evening snack. They might not want to sit down and eat a proper meal after coming back from school. These ladoos can be eaten while they are rushing to the playground as well. They are easy to make and can be stored in an airtight container for a week or two.
Making wheat and jaggery ladoo is simple. Dry whole wheat flour in a heavy bottomed pan until it is fragrant. You can make jaggery syrup while the wheat flour cools down. Once the syrup is slightly thick, mix it with the flour. Once the ingredients are well mixed, you start rolling the ladoos.
Children need loads of calcium for the growth and strengthening of bones. Ragi is not only packed with calcium but is a great energy booster as well. 100 grams of ragi will supply your child with over 300 calories. You don’t need another reason to replace the store bought maida cookies with homemade ragi cookies. It is a quick and healthy breakfast dish.
Baking ragi cookies is a quick process. Roast one cup of ragi flour and two pinches of cardamom powder for two minutes. Add a whisked egg and two pinches of dry ginger powder to the mix. Make round balls of the mixture and flatten them before popping to the oven. You will have yummy cookies in less than 10 minutes. If your child is fond of chocolate, add some cocoa powder or chocolate chips to the mix.
If your child isn't fond of simple plane dosa or is dead against eating bananas, go for a Kerala style banana dosa. It is another healthy breakfast dish that is easy to make. Bananas are full of protein and boost energy. It is extremely easy to make before sending children off to school. Mash two ripe bananas in a bowl and add few pinches of dry ginger powder, cardamom powder, and four or five tablespoons of jaggery syrup to it. Mix the batter with one cup of rice flour and a half cup of maida. Pour a ladle full of batter to the pan, and within minutes you will have delicious brown dosas on the table. You can add ground nuts for more flavour.
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Whole grain crackers may look like a crunchy junk food-like snack to children, but it is full of fibre, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Mix and grind grains of your choice including oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, and white sesame seeds with red chilli flakes. Add half a cup of whole wheat flour and a spoonful of oil to the mix and knead them together. Bake the dough for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven. These crackers are delicious, and children can eat them while playing or doing homework. They can be stored in an airtight container for about two weeks.
Snacks made of rice flour is not the best choice for obese children. That's why you need to be creative and serve them oats idlis. It is the perfect breakfast before going to school. You can make them in the morning to the night before. The cooking process is easy and quick. It starts with dry roasting the oats in a pan until they turn brownish. Once you have made a powder of roasted oats, fry urad dal powder, chana dal powder, and some mustard seeds in a pan. Mix the ingredients together to make the batter and cook it in steam for 15 minutes. A coconut chutney or tomato chutney will go perfectly with oats idlis.
Beetroot is brimming with vitamins and health benefits. It is a great source of folate, iron, and vitamin C. They contain beta carotene as well. But, most kids hate it due to its earthy flavour which stands out in all smoothies and mixed juices. Making a beetroot-chickpea Tikki which basically is cutlet will solve your problem. Making this healthy Indian snack is super easy. Cook beetroot and chickpea separately. Blend them into a coarse paste in the food processor.
You can add spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli flakes, garam masala, and dry mango powder. Be sure not to add any water to the paste. Now, all you have to do is rolling them into a ball and flatten them. Make a paste of corn flour and rava in a separate bowl to coat the Tikki balls. Fry them in a pan and serve with pudina chutney.
Most children love sandwiches. If you put some thought into it, you can sneak in healthy veggies and grains along with cheese. Start with using whole wheat or whole grain bread for making the sandwich. You can spread a nut butter of your choice as well. Stuff some cottage cheese aka paneer and sauteed broccoli in them. Broccoli is full of vitamins including vitamin C and potassium which are highly beneficial in the growth phase of children.
When children come home from school, what they need is an energy-boosting snack. Dates are full of copper and magnesium that promote the healing functions of the body. Cashews are a great source of calcium. All you have to do is blend them in a food processor and roll them into balls. Soak and drain the dates before blending. Adding grated coconut and a little bit of coconut oil will give the ladoos a better texture.
Dhokla is a traditional Gujarati dish filled with proteins and carbohydrates. Making Dhokla for breakfast is an easy feat. All you have to do is mix one cup of gram flour with one tablespoon of sugar and citric acid. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to the mix. The mixture should be cooked in steam. Grease the utensil with butter. Once the Dhokla is cooked, pour the tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilli once it is cooked.
Children are often fond of street foods and Kathi rolls top the list. This dish will be easy to make if you have leftover roti from the night before. Cooking potatoes and cauliflower is a quick process. Marinate them in yoghurt, chaat masala, and cumin seeds powder for 15 to 20 minutes. Grill them, and saute with green chillies and onion before rolling them in the roti.
Another healthy evening snack is spinach roti which is full of iron. It is an energy booster full of folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium. Adding mushroom and cottage cheese (paneer) to it will make the dish delicious and appealing to kids. You can either roll mushroom and paneer in the roti or serve them as a side dish.