In the words of Anne Mulcahy – ‘Investing in early childhood nutrition is a sure strategy. The returns are incredibly high’. All that we want for our children is to grow into healthier and successful human beings. The healthier version of themselves can be achieved by paying attention to their diet. A little effort goes a long way, and making their diets more nutritious on a daily basis will improve their eating habits for a lifetime. Making food & snacks more nutritious while still making sure they are fun in taste for the little ones, is an art. Here are some traditional snack options for your kids, that can be twisted into more nutritious alternatives:
Who doesn’t love popcorn? A sure-fire hit with the children and yet being whole grain. With 4 grams of fibre per 3-cup serving, while still keeping your kiddos’ tummies full, popcorn is a jewel on the snack list.
Twist – Skip the idea of caramel, and crumble some chopped up Belgian Milk Chocolate Energy Bars for a double-crunch and sweet-fill to the traditional popcorn servings.
Here’s the thing about cookies – they can be made nutritious when you use the correct ingredients. Substituting white flour for a nutritious alternative like whole-wheat or ragi. Rolled oats can be added for the fibre kick!
Twist – Replace oats from your desired recipe with a few scoops of Gouri’s Oats and Almond Cereal Mix. With a mixture of oats, almonds and nutritious seeds, there is no compromise on taste or nutrition with this option!
These idlis are low in carbs and calories with the replacement of oats instead of rice flour. Ideal for health-conscious parents that would like for their children to adapt to nutritious eating.
Twist – Skip the oats or rice flour, and opt for a ragi base. Gouri’s Ragi Rhythm Cereal Mix is a suitable way to incorporate ragi into the Idli mix. You will not be compromising on oats, while still getting the nutrition of ragi flakes. Punch in the crunch from almonds and seed mixes and you have an all-round nutritious snack idea!
Oats and Apple Crumble
A combination of sliced apples, with lemon juice and cinnamon powder mixed with cooked oats in brown sugar – baked to perfection until the crumble turns brown, gives you a delicious Oats and Apple Crumble. This snack offers a suitable amount of protein, fibre and carbs to give your children the energy kick for an evening along with a well-balanced nutritional composition.
Twist – Use Gouri’s Mighty Oats Cereal to mix with the apple slices. Skip the sugars and add a chopped-up Palm Jaggery and Honey Bar for the sweet punch along with some nutrition from almonds, flaxseed and sesame seeds for the added nutrition kick!
Dates & Cashew Ladoos
An energy-boosting snack with various essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, this makes for one of the best mid-meal snacks for your toddlers. Soak a cup of dates in water. Blend a cup of cashew nuts with half a cup of grated coconut before adding the dates and a dash of coconut oil. Blend until a sticky mixture is formed – roll into small ladoos of your desired size.
Twist – Skip the effort – get a box of Gouri’s Happy Ladoos! With choices between – Plain, Coconut, Cinnamon, Orange, Black Pepper or an assorted set of the ladoos. These ladoos are bursting with nutrition-packed with ingredients like dates, almonds, rice crispies, amaranth, melon seeds, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, raisins, and orange zest (depending on option selected).
As the saying goes – “Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body”. A more nutritious meal plan gives parents and children a clearer outlook in life and a better understanding of the food that is being consumed. For a more child-involved experience, allow them to partake in the process of preparing their snacks. Let them try each ingredient – help them understand the importance of each one. Engaging them in the hands-on activity of cooking or meal prepping is a way to educate your child about organic, sustainable and nutritious eating and its relevance in our day-to-day lives.