Healthy And Delicious Snacks For Pre-Schoolers
How many times have you looked at your child and thought they are growing up way too fast? That’s because they are! 90% of your toddler’s brain development, 60% of their adult height, and 30% of their weight are achieved by 6^. Given that your toddler is growing fast, the regular three meals may not provide all the nourishment.
Healthy snacks at regular intervals help provide nourishment to the growing body and brain and keep the child active. But a healthy snack is helpful only if your child eats it. And children can be finicky and fussy while eating, which often means that they do not finish their snack. However, an exciting snack increases the odds of it being consumed by your child.
Here are some ideas to pack some healthy and delicious snacks that your child will love to eat and make you a popular mom!
Fruits are an excellent source of essential nutrients, especially potassium, folate, fiber, Vitamins A, C and K, and phytochemicals1. There are several creative ways to pack fruits, so your child enjoys eating them. Some of those ways are:
Slice It into different shapes and sizes
Toddlers are more likely to eat a fruit when it’s cut rather than served whole, or even better when the cut pieces are assembled in the shape of a car, building, or pup’s face. Make it bright and colourful by mixing up different fruits – watermelon, orange kiwi, and strawberry would make for an interesting car shape! Allow your child to experience the variety of textures and flavours of fruits, such as the softness of a banana contrasting with the crunchiness of an apple, the sweetness of grapes contrasting with the tanginess of plums, and so on.
United we pack
Since you are packing for your child, involve them. Let them pick a fruit or two. Ask your child for ideas to put together fruit slices or let them assemble the slices you cut as if they were a puzzle.
Layer colourful vegetables such as lettuce, baby tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, and beetroot in a jar and top it with a healthy dressing that has your child’s favourite flavours in it. They will find it fun to eat out of an unusual container, and the dressing will make them finish every bit of the salad in the jar!
Veggies wrap and boats
Instead of using a roti or tortilla wrap, you can use lettuce, spinach, or cabbage leaf to make a roll. Similarly, you can carve out a cucumber, bell pepper, or zucchini and fill the hollow with a healthy filling of veggies raw or cooked, with egg and/or meat of your child’s choice.
Cut and assemble vegetables on a skewer or plate, playing with colours, shapes, sizes, and textures to appeal to your child’s visual delight and palette.
3. Whole grain2
Complex Carbohydrates should be the source of your child’s 45—65% of daily energy requirement. Alongside fruits and vegetables, include alternative grains for this macronutrient. Additionally, grains provide a unique set of micronutrients (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, iron, folic acid) that are not found in most fruits and vegetables. Wheat and brown rice can be great sources of complex carbohydrates.
Rolling a preparation of vegetables cooked with meat or cottage cheese can motivate your child to finish their ‘Roti’ without much fuss.
Brighten up oats or broken wheat or semolina porridge or upma with colourful and crunchy fruits and/or vegetables.
Make a sandwich using healthy sauce and colourful, flavoursome fillings made of vegetables, lentils and beans, meat cuts, cottage cheese, and eggs. You could pack the sandwich cut in the shape of a star. Instead of spreading the sauce, you could outline a face or any figure that will excite your child.
Choline is an essential micronutrient with critical roles in several biological processes, and eggs are among the best sources. Eggs are versatile, and you can make and pack them as your child enjoys them:
Food on fingers
Children enjoy eating with their hands, and pancakes can be a healthy finger food snack. Instead of refined flour, you could use mashed potatoes, oats, or bananas served with honey, syrup, sauce, or chutney.
Use the egg mixture of scrambled eggs to make tiny egg muffins that resemble cupcakes.
Egg in bell
Cook eggs sunny side up or as an omelette with cheese and veggies within a ring of bell pepper or bread or roti.
Milk is vital for your toddler as it facilitates bone growth. Add #Junior Horlicks to it as it is enriched with nutrients like choline, iron and iodine, which support brain development and calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K & protein, which support physical growth and development. It also contains nutrients such as Vitamin E, A, Selenium & copper to support healthy immune function.
Snacking helps to keep your child energetic between meals. A full stomach will keep your child happy and attentive throughout the day. A healthy snack could mean that your child hugs you with a smile after a day at school.