By Dt. Hanisi A Savla,
Nutrition & Lifestyle Educator, Consulting Clinical Dietitian, Pediatric Nutritionist and Antenatal & Postnatal Fitness Therapist
“Don’t eat that, you’ll spoil your appetite.” If only you had a dollar for every time you heard that growing up.
But if the right foods are offered at the right times, snacks can play an important role in managing kids’ hunger and boosting nutrition. A well-timed snack can even out spikes in hunger and provide a much-needed energy boost between meals.
Snacks can keep younger children from getting so hungry that they become cranky, and they can keep older kids from overeating at larger meals. And for picky eaters of all ages, snacks can be added insurance that they’re getting the necessary nutrients.
This doesn’t mean that giving your child a cupcake half an hour before dinner is suddenly a good idea. The best snacks are nutritious: low in sugar, fat, and salt. Fresh fruit and vegetables and foods that contain whole grains and protein are also good choices.
But it’s not just about what you offer as a snack, it’s how much you serve and when. Pay attention to portion sizes and timing of snacks so they don’t interfere with a child’s appetite for the next scheduled meal.
Children who are allowed to graze all day long often have a hard time figuring out when they’re truly hungry, one key to maintaining a healthy weight of your child during exams and later in life. A structured meal and snack schedule is one solution. You offer the meals and snacks at the same times each day, and your kids can decide what they want to eat and how much.
Snacking well can be a challenge, especially once your child is old enough to make independent food choices. But if you’ve set the stage right from the start, offering mostly nutritious choices at home and encouraging good alternatives when away, they’re more likely to reach for something healthy when a hunger pang strikes.
HEALTHY SNACKING IDEAS FOR STUDENTS DURING BOARD EXAM:
- Nut & Berry Smoothie
- Homemade low fat granola with oats & dark chocolate chips
- Apple & Walnut Yoghurt Parfait
- Strawberry yoghurt Popsicle
- Greek yoghurt with Strawberries & Pineapple
- Apple & Banana on Nut butter toast
- Vegatable sticks with yoghurt mint dip & Garlic hummus
- Green Moong Dal chilla frankie
- Baked Pasta Muffin
- Zoodles (Zuchinni) pasta with Spinach sauce
- Egg Scrambled Burrito wrap
- Paneer, Spinach & Bell pepper open toast
- Whole wheat Burger with Vegetable Barbequed paneer & yoghurt mint chutney
- Tricolored Sandwich
- Baked Raw Banana veggies with Yoghurt chilli sauce
- Oats & Egg paratha roll with mint & garlic chutney
- Air-popped Popcorns