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Healthy Snack Ideas That Busy Parents Can Easily Whip Up



As parents, one of our primary concerns is providing our child with wholesome, nutritious food that will not only meet their developmental needs but also ones they would love to feast on. With most parents tackling hectic schedules, we do manage to plan for the big meals. However, growing children often get hungry in between meals. This is when we need some quick eats to satisfy sudden hunger pangs.


We may not always have healthy snacks handy, which is when parents rely on packaged foods that are readily available off the shelves. They may save time and effort, but we all know that they are full of added sugars, artificial ingredients, and preservatives – something we would love to avoid. 

 

Before we dive into preparing simple child-friendly snacks, let’s have a look at how to identify what is unhealthy.

  • The ‘obvious’ junk food – The large multinational food chains that offer pizzas, burgers, bottomless aerated drinks, etc. are obviously unhealthy choices. 

  • The ‘non obvious’ junk food – Think packaged food items. Many foods that come in some form of packaging often contain artificial ingredients and preservatives. This could include cereals, biscuits, spreads, jams, chips, baked goods, and even yogurts. Before adding a packaged snack to your child's regular diet, take a moment to scan the ingredient list. The first few ingredients make up the bulk of the product. So ideally, they should be recognizable whole foods you feel good about. If the very first ingredients are sugar, processed flours, or unfamiliar additives, it might be best to choose a different option. This simple check empowers you to make informed decisions for your child's health! 

 

Now, to the exciting part – Quick, kid-friendly healthy snack recipes for your children: 

 

  1. Fruit Bowls – There could be nothing more refreshing to eat and simple to make than a delicious fruit bowl. This is also a winner because fruits are natural sweeteners and children need no encouragement to finish this snack. Moreover, it is completely safe no matter how much children consume in a day. All you need to do is slice up some common fruits such as apples, pineapples, watermelons, apricots, and bananas; you can also include some seasonal fruits such as strawberries, peaches, blackberries, grapes, plums, or mangoes. Mix it up and serve! If you’d like to add some more flavor, topping it up with a few cheese slices would be ideal. 

  2. Eggs – No food is probably as versatile as eggs. Packed with protein and easy to make, eggs can be prepared in multiple ways, every day of the week, and it never gets boring. We may associate eggs with breakfast, but a good, scrambled egg can make a delicious snack any time of the day. Experiment with a sunny side up or egg in a hole (take a slice of bread and make a heart shaped hole in it. Break an egg into the hole and season it with salt and pepper) for added fun. 

  3. Homemade Hummus – This is an easy and healthy dip packed with protein. You can make this on a weekend, and it stores well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Serve it up with some carrot and cucumber fingers as a wholesome snack. 

 

Would you love a quick recipe for this? Here’s what you will need to make some delicious and healthy homemade hummus:

  • Boiled and mashed chickpeas 

  • Tahini paste (You can make this at home by roasting and blending some sesame seeds and adding olive oil into it to make a smooth and creamy paste. Don’t forget to add salt. And don’t worry if you end up making more than you need. Tahini can be used in many forms (as a salad dressing, spread on a falafel, substitute for peanut butter), making it a delicious addition to your kitchen. 

  • Lemon juice (one large lemon) 

  • Fresh garlic (one small clove) 

  • Ground cumin and salt 

  • Olive oil (drizzle some on top of the hummus at the end to make it look appealing and taste amazing) 

 

All you need is a food processer. Add in the tahini paste first and then the lemon juice. After a minute of whipping, add in the rest of the ingredients. Add the olive oil in batches depending on how creamy you would like it. Then stand back and let the food processor do its job until you get the consistency you want. You could get creative with dips when you have the time. You can make tasty ones with peas, potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins. 


4. Sweet Potato Rounds – This humble root vegetable is a major source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is great at promoting gut health, so you can imagine why it is a highly recommended nutritious snack for children. 

 

What you need: 

  • Sweet potatoes 

  • Oil 

  • Seasoning (cinnamon or cumin powder, black pepper, garlic powder, or any spice powder that you like) 

 

Cut the sweet potatoes into even rounds (not too thin as they will shrink when baked), coat them with enough oil. Preheat the oven to 440 degrees. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a baking tray with a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes by flipping it midway, so both sides are evenly cooked. You can make a large batch and it will last you a week. You can plate this up spectacularly. Top a sweet potato round with your child’s favorite dip and add seasoning on top. Try a different variation with each round and you have a colorful plate of healthy snacks. For example, take one round add some of your homemade hummus and top it with soaked almond flakes or papaya seeds for a Middle Eastern touch. You can also top one with your favorite cheese and add a cherry tomato. 

 

5. Appetizing Leftovers – We all must deal with leftover problems one day or another. Let’s not trash the leftovers. Instead, let’s get creative and instill sustainability in a small way from our homes. At Dibber International Preschools, we try do the same, so children understand the importance of adopting sustainable practices. Here’s an example of what you could do with leftover rice, vegetables, and meat. 

 

What you need: 

  • Leftover rice 

  • Any oil of your choice 

  • Minced garlic 

  • Leftover vegetables or meat (you can add as many vegetables and meat or just one as per choice) 

  • Seasoning 

 

Put some oil in pan, add some minced garlic, add a few vegetables (e.g., carrots or peas) and let it cook a while, add some meat (e.g., eggs or chicken) and let that cook, add a bit of soy sauce. Season with some salt and pepper. And you are done! This is a quick fried rice recipe and all you need is leftovers. With some rice varieties, you can convert this into tiny, bite-sized rice balls that children would devour. 

 

These simple child-approved snack ideas can also be healthy munchies for parents with busy schedules. It’s a win-win for everyone!

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