Chips! Of course, they are delectable. We are all guilty for being drawn to those yummy snacks, so it is a given that kids are obsessed with them in every form. This doubles the responsibility of every mom, to assure the yummy goodness is also backed with healthy nutrients for their precious baby.
Let’s begin with saying it out loud: CHIPS ARE UNHEALTHY. As much the taste dominates our healthy decision making, we can make do with some mindfulness. Binge eating chips can ultimately result in
- High blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Low Nutrition
The other main concern about chips is that they’re typically fried in oil, making them high in fat. A standard serving of potato chips contains 16 percent of your daily recommended amount of fat, and 15 percent of this comes from saturated fat. Certain fats, like those found in fatty fish, are healthy, but the fats in potato chips are not. The high fat content is part of the reason that chips are considered to be empty calories; they fill your child up and their fat content gives you energy. However, they don’t actually have much nutritive value.
To avoid these fears in growing babies, we have come up with 5 healthy snack ideas which can easily replace the addiction of that bag of chips your child is obsessed with, & ALSO gift them some nutrition in the process.
No, we are not talking about those popcorns from the cinema theater’s which just adds a hole in our pockets, commercially prepared popcorn varieties can be extremely high in calories and unhealthy ingredients. But the kernels that we get in the nearby provision store are better than they take credit for. Just 3 mins with the favourite seasonings or just a pinch of salt & turmeric is all you need for the child. You can also add additional flavour by topping it with fresh herbs or spices.
The high amount of dietary fibre in popcorn keeps one full. Hence, it prevents overeating and weight gain in young kids.
The right age for your child to begin eating popcorn is around 4 or 5 years of age.
A 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of air-popped popcorn consists of a whooping :
- 387 calories
- 13 grams of protein
- 78 grams of carbs
- 5 grams of fat.
- 15 grams of fiber (Which is extremely high. It makes it one of the world’s best sources of fiber.)
*runs to the kitchen to pop those kernels in 3… 2… 1…. POP
2. BAKED BANANA CHIPS
This tasty, sweet-salty snack is perfect for using in place of regular chips and much healthier since they’re baked! They make a terrific lunchbox add-on or after school snack.
The goodness of banana along with the crunchiness of chips, together, form a great taste. Banana’s not only adds to the calcium as it is commonly known, but also helps with intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, nutrients.
It also saves time for a mom who is constantly swamped with the everyday challenges of motherhood. You can just bake one batch for the entire week (only if your baby can resist saving some for later). You can store it in an airtight container or zip bag.
With a few drops of lemon juice and a minimal amount of salt and pepper, all you need to do is bake it to perfection, and voila!!
Similar to our beloved popcorn, these babies are another easy to go snack. Makhana, also known as Lotus Seeds are gluten-free, protein rich and high in carbohydrates. These can be given to a baby as young as 6+ Months in form of cerelac / porridge.
For kids who loves to munch on chips, this should be a healthy option. Just roast the Makhanas & here you have a healthy binge worthy snack. Add a dash of your go to favour for adding some yumminess to your baby’s makhana bowl.
Few benefits of Makhana for babies:
- Rich in protein, which helps in muscle building in growing years
- High in fiber, helps prevent constipation, as kids are more prone to it.
- Lotus seeds has the right amount of calcium which helps to build strong bones and teeth of a growing child.
- 2 cups lotus seeds or makhana
- 2 teaspoons desi ghee or any other oil you wish to use
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Chop the makhanas into smaller pieces.
- Take a heavy bottomed pan and heat one teaspoon ghee in it.
- Add the chopped makhanas and roast on low flame for a few minutes or until they turn crispy.
- In a separate pan, heat one teaspoon ghee and add turmeric powder, cumin powder and pepper powder and cook for a few seconds.
- Add roasted makhanas into the spice mix and add salt. Mix well.
- Let the roasted makhanas cool down before you transfer the contents into a clean airtight jar.
- Use clean hands or clean spoon to scoop out makhanas from the jar. Do not put the unused or uneaten makhanas back in the jar.
4. ROASTEDSWEET POTATO WEDGES
Sweet potatoes are the healthiest thing to give to your baby. As a child is ready to take solids or semi-solids one can start giving this in the form of puree. Not only sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, which helps to maintain good eye sight, but also are a good source of calcium and iron. During the tender age of jumping and hopping where kids generally do not care about proper body weight, sweet potatoes helps in weight gaining and maintain their energy levels.
Roasted sweet potatoes wedges are very easy to make. In this potato wedge situation, these sweet potatoes take on a slightly more wholesome version of the typical fried wedge; making them a healthier choice.
Since they are roasted, not fried they require little or no oil. Also, when fried foods are higher in calories than their baked counterparts, making fried food a stairway to multiple health issues like heart diseases, obesity, blood pressure and more. Sweet potato wedges are best served along with a dip of your choice that your baby relishes the most.
5. DRIED APPLES
It is rightly said, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” So, who would skip including an apple in their babies growing years? Apples are rich in Vitamins like A, B1, B2 and C. Apple plays an important role in digestion process and it is also said apples help in preventing diarrhea.
Dried apple snack is easy to make and can be preserved up to a year if stored properly. All you need to do is slice apples thin and medium size, dip it in lemon water and leave it to dry for maximum of 5-6 hours. Alternatively, you can also bake apples to dry them.
Many prefer taking the peel off, but as we know the peels contains the maximum nutrients which play an important role for the growing child. Once the apples are perfectly dried well, you can store them in clean dry container, well within the reach of your child. Anything to encourage healthy snacking habits, right?
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 large apples, unpeeled if preferred
- Step 1 : Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Step 2 : Combine water and lemon juice in a medium bowl. (The lemon juice helps prevent browning.)
- Step 3 : Using a sharp knife or a mandoline (if you have one), slice 2 large apples as thin as possible, about 1/8 inch thick. (We skip peeling and coring because we like the look of the dried skins and the pretty pattern the core makes in the center.) Soak the slices in the lemon water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat the slices as dry as possible with paper towels (or clean kitchen towels). Place on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer.
- Step 4 – Bake the slices on the upper and lower racks for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and turn each slice over; return the pans to the oven. Bake 1 more hour for soft dried apples or about 2 more hours for crispy apple chips. (Timing depends on your oven, the type of apple and thickness of the slices; check periodically and reduce or increase the total time as needed.) Turn off the oven, crack the door and leave the apples in the oven until the oven cools completely, 1 to 2 hours.
THAT’S NOT ALL. THERE IS MORE:
Apart from all these, there are many other snacks which can replace chips:
- Cottage cheese (in various forms)
- Cheese slice / Cube
- Fresh Fruit smoothies
- Baked Vegetables
- Puffed rice / Mummra
If a child has any of these healthy snacks in between their meals, they won’t feel the urge to munch on chips or any other unhealthy snack.
We are doing everything we can to keep up the health score of your baby sky high!
Mom : 1, Unhealthy Junk : 0