As a mother of a growing child, it is a challenging task to keep up with the snack demands, especially on holidays. With summer vacation having started, my daughter likes to repeat “I want to eat something” multiple times throughout the day. Sometimes, it could be that tiny hunger pangs between meals, while at rest of the times, it is sheer boredom and attention-seeking (and also to keep mummy on her toes all the time!!).
Summer prevents us from spending long hours in the hot kitchen. That doesn’t mean we need to buy loads of unhealthy packaged snacks and juices from the supermarket.
I have compiled 30+ quick snack ideas that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. With a little planning and stocking up the essential ingredients, you can feed your children healthy and tasty snacks.
1. Fresh fruit juices - sweet lime (mosambi), watermelon, muskmelon or a chilled lemonade
2. Seasonal drinks - aam panna (raw mango drink), panagam (cooling drink made with jaggery), tender coconut water
3. Fruit popsicles or ice lollies - healthy treats that get set in freezer overnight
4. Fresh cut fruits - mango, watermelon, grapes, guava, muskmelon, papaya or pineapple
5. Fruit salad with honey and chaat masala
6. Dry fruits and nuts - a small bowl of their favourites (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, dates, raisins, figs)
7. Milkshakes - chikoo milkshake, mango milkshake, chocolate milkshake (I usually try to avoid banana milkshake as it increases kapha/mucus. Once in a while is fine)
8. Fruit yoghurt - home-made with thick curd, fruit pulp and a dash of honey or cane sugar
9. Smoothies - I’d recommend mixing fruits, seeds and nuts with coconut milk or almond milk
10. Buttermilk - perfect for the summer. Can blend with ginger, mint, green chillies, curry leaves or coriander leaves, depending on what your kid likes
11. Raitha - Can make a variety of raithas using cucumber, carrot, tomatoes, pomegranate. With a little dash of chaat masala, roasted jeera powder and black salt, it tastes heavenly.
12. Lassi - chilled glass of mango lassi is a bliss, isn’t it? :-)
13. Curd rice - my little girl can eat curd rice anytime of the day ;-)
14. Boiled peanuts
15. Roasted peanuts
16. Sundal - a South Indian snack made with lentils. High in protein and fibre.
17. Popcorn - keep dry popcorn seeds handy. With 2 tsp of oil and salt, mix a handful of popcorn seeds. Cover and let it pop on high flame. Delicious, home-made popcorn is ready - fresh, no preservatives, less oil, less sodium.
18. Boiled sweet corn - Universal favourite snack. Steam some frozen corn for 5 minutes, add a dash of butter, salt and freshly ground pepper.
19. Veg Salad - Mix and match a variety of veggies - carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, boiled potato. Add some lentils like cowpeas or chickpeas to increase nutritive value.
20. Boiled sweet potato - It used to be my favourite during my childhood. Boil the whole sweet potato. Once cooked, peel and eat it as it is
21. Red Poha with milk and nuts - Soak red poha in water for 10 minutes. Drain completely. Mix with milk, cane sugar and chopped nuts.
22. Chikkis - If you can make it at home, nothing like it. I usually buy it from the store. Compared to the numerous junk out there in the shelves, chikkis make it to my shopping cart always
23. Puffed rice (pori)
24. Dry bhel - Mix puffed rice, boiled peanuts, cucumber, carrot, onions. Add salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice. Beach style snack is ready!
25. Upma with Sooji (rava) or Vermicelli - Only if your kid loves upma. It’s a general rule that kids hate the sight of upma ;-)
26. Sevai (rice noodles) - In 10 minutes, it’s easy to whip up a lemon sevai or a coconut sevai. My daughter’s favourite.
27. Mini idlis/dosas/oothappams - if your child loves to eat chutney podi as an accompaniment, then these can be made in a jiffy, provided the batter is ready.
28. Jaggery dosa - healthy and sweet treat. Can be made with either wholewheat flour or a combination of ragi and rice flours. Give a fancy name like jaggery pancakes if it doesn’t attract attention! :-)
29. Adai/Chillas - quick to make provided the batter is prepared. Can be served with jaggery and/or butter.
30. Porridge / Kanji - Can be made with multigrain (sathumaavu), ragi flour, bajra flour or broken wheat.
31. Idiyappam - might take a little more than 10 minutes. Most kids love it. Keep the processed rice flour handy.
Hope this list helps you as a quick reference. If there are any other healthy and quick snack ideas, please share in the comments below.