6 Healthy After-School Snack Recipes For Children

Wondering what to feed your child when he is back from school hungry? We bring you recipes of some delicious snacks that will keep him feeling full and meet his nutritional demands as well.

By Shiny Lizia M

6 Healthy After-School Snack Recipes For Children

Rahul got home from school and headed straight to the kitchen looking for something to eat. When he found the usual bread and jam laid out at the counter, he decided to protest. He flung his bag on the floor and sulked in a corner, vehemently refusing to touch the food. His mother, who was not a very imaginative cook, was at her wit’s end trying to cope with his daily tantrums. Rahul’s mother faces a dilemma that many mothers face today.

In a bid to avoid this kind of a situation and in an attempt to make their children happy, mothers tend to give them junk food like chips, chocolates, cakes and carbonated beverages that are low in nutrients. Regular intake of junk food leads to the development of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, nutritional deficiencies, tooth decay, insulin resistance, high cholesterol levels, liver diseases and even cancer. Junk food can also give rise to psychological problems like addiction, cognitive decline, depression and anxiety. This article tells you why and how to make the shift from junk food to healthy snacks that your child will love.

Healthy snacking provides a sizeable proportion of your child’s daily energy and nutrient needs. It improves your child’s overall health, curbs cravings, avoids the risk of childhood obesity, regulates mood, boosts brain power and gives her the energy she needs. Here are 6 healthy and tasty snack recipes for children belonging to different age groups.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)

Multigrain buttermilk

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp multigrain flour (dry roasted and powdered millets)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 pinch pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp grated carrot/beetroot/mint/coriander
  • Salt to taste

Method

1. Cook the flour in water for a minute till the mixture thickens.

2. Cool the mixture.

3. Blend it with the other ingredients and serve.

Benefits: Millets act like slow burning fuel to pump up your child’s energy.

Nutritional value per serving

Energy: 106.82 Kcal; protein: 4.24 g; fat: 3.52 g; calcium: 148.44 mg

Is your child a fussy eater? Read this article to know how to manage her.

Potato halwa

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 500 g potato (4-5 medium size)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp ghee/vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 raisins (cleaned in water)
  • 5 cashew nuts, chopped
  • 2-3 cardamoms, powdered
  • 3-4 almonds, chopped

Method

1. Boil the potatoes. Cool, peel and mash them.

2. Heat ghee/oil in a pan. Add the mashed potatoes and fry well.

3. Add milk, sugar, raisins and cashew nuts.

4. Stir continuously with the help of a big spatula for 6-7 minutes.

5. Turn off the stove, add cardamom powder and stir well.

6. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve.

Benefits: Potato provides the instant energy required after a long day at school while the nuts and raisins increase iron intake.

Tip: The same method can be adopted to make halwa from vegetables like beetroot, carrot and pumpkin as well.

Nutritional value per serving

Energy: 159.70 Kcals; protein: 3.03 g; fat: 8.58 g; vitamin A: 40.86 g


Pre-teens (7 to 12 years)

Pizza uthappam

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 250 g rice/multigrain dosa batter
  • 1 tomato, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp grated carrot
  • 1 tbsp sweet corn kernels (optional)
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 slices cheese
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method

1. Heat a tawa, spray a little oil and spread out a laddle of batter. Do not spread it out too thin.

2. Sprinkle corn kernels, chopped tomatoes and onions evenly over the batter.

3. Cover with a lid and cook for 1-2 minutes on medium flame.

4. Flip it over gently and press down with a spatula. Drizzle some oil around it.

5. Cover and cook for another minute on low flame.

6. Flip again. You can see the vegetables are roasted by now.

7. Spread tomato ketchup and place a slice of cheese over it.

8. Cover again with a lid for 1-2 minutes till the cheese melts.

9. Remove from flame, cut into slices and serve hot.

Benefits: Vegetables provide the required vitamin and fibre content while cheese is a good source of protein.

Tips: Use healthy pizza toppings such as pineapple cubes, diced chicken or mushrooms, and sauces that your child likes and she’ll love this snack.

Nutritional value per serving

Energy: 128.14 Kcals; protein: 4.95 g; fat: 9.02 g; calcium: 147.09 mg

Carrot and fruit salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 tbsp rice flakes
  • 250 g plain/fruit yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp roasted groundnuts
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate
  • 100 g seedless red grapes (cut into halves)

Method

1. Mix yoghurt and honey in a wide bowl.

2. Add grated carrot and rice flakes. Mix well.

3. Garnish with roasted groundnuts, pomegranate and grapes.

4. Serve chilled.

Benefits: Curd is good for strong bones and rice flakes give your child the much-required energy to catch up with homework and play.

Nutritional value per serving

Energy: 64 Kcals; protein: 1.70 g; fat: 1.87 g; calcium: 50.42 mg

Looking for more yummy snacks for your children? Check out this ClipBook


Teenagers (13-18 years)

Chickpea pasta salad

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 100 g boiled chickpeas (black channa)
  • 1 cup boiled whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tbsp thick curd
  • 1 tbsp carrot, julienned
  • 1 tbsp cucumber, julienned
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp roasted groundnuts, coarsely powdered
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salad seasoning
  • Salt to taste

Method

1. Mix curd, olive oil and salt in a bowl.

2. Add the other ingredients and mix well.

3. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Benefits: Coriander prevents iron deficiency anaemia while chickpea increases concentration and alertness.

Nutritional value per serving

Energy:383 Kcals; protein: 15.64 g; fat: 9.49 g; calcium: 154.06 mg; fibre: 14.8 g

Tricolor roti

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 50 ml beetroot juice
  • 50 ml carrot juice
  • 50 ml spinach + coriander juice
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for making dough

Method

1. Take equal quantities of the whole wheat flour in three bowls.

2. Mix beetroot juice, one pinch of chilli powder and salt with the flour in one bowl to make dough. Add water while kneading, if required.

3. Repeat the process by mixing carrot and spinach juice with the flour in the other bowls. Remember to add the other ingredients.

4. Roll out the dough into thin rotis and fry them on the tawa.

5. Serve with curd.

Benefits: Beetroot is rich in folate that prevents stress while spinach and carrot have cancer-fighting properties.

Nutritional value per roti

Energy: 76 Kcals; protein: 1.24 g; fat: 3.9 g; calcium: 22.2 mg

Healthy snacking has no adverse effects on the overall well-being of your child. In fact, it could help her meet the recommended dietary allowances of nutrients and prevent nutritional deficiencies. Adopt healthy cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, stewing, baking, dry roasting, grilling and shallow-fat frying while preparing your child’s snack. This will help retain the nutritional quality of the food she eats and offer variety to grab her interest. Planned mindfully, snacking can be a blessing in disguise for your child.

The author is a nutritionist based in Chennai.