The most frequently asked question by parents of teenagers is probably “What snacks to serve to kids?”

There are two major reasons for worry. One, while the teenagers usually do not fuss much about lunch and dinner, they are most choosy and cranky when it comes to evening snacks.
Two, snacks have to be such that it does not fill them up too much and makes room for appetite for dinner in a while.

Teenage is that phase when kids begin to realize their individuality and want to break open from things imposed on them. They are verbal enough to speak out and talk about their likes and dislikes in clear terms.

This is a tender period when things need to be handled with utmost care and caution. This is the time when their personality is built, hence they must be made to feel important and capable, and the confidence cannot be crushed at any cost. Hence, views of kids particularly of this age must be respected and incorporated carefully.

Kids expect snacks to be tasty. Parents need it to be healthy. At the same time, it cannot be monotonous. Preparing a variety of snacks every day, that would be both palatable and nutritious might be a challenge to many parents.

Here are 8 great snack ideas that might help those parents who run out of imagination and innovation:

1)Bread and spread: Whole grain bread, oat bread, whole wheat bread are full of nutrition. They are a great source of calcium, fibre, and good amount of protein, iron, vitamins, and other minerals and are usually low in fat.

Use a wide range of spreads over bread toasts or in the sandwich for taste and nutrition. Garlic cheese, mozzarella cheese, mayo, homemade sauce, dips, ketchup, and condiments could be great as spread along with veggies or small slices of chicken, herbs, and spices.

2) Soups : Homemade soups are highly nutritious. The broth preserves the nutrients in the veggies and chicken, needs only a little amount of butter and no oil at all. Going easy on the salt and rather using more black pepper, onions, lentils, and garlic would make it healthier.

Play with the vegetable combos and bring in a variation in taste. Carrots, beans, corns, tomatoes, potatoes, celery, peas are great for soups. Add chicken-shreds if you wish. The soup could be thick or clear. In any case, it is a great way of consuming liquid and staying hydrated.

3) Sprouts : Toss boiled or soaked sprouts in a variety of homemade sauces or butter, add a little salt and pepper and see the magic. Sprouts are high in nutrition. Though there are many varieties, they are in general rich in protein, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamins, especially Vitamin C and K.

You may add baby slices of ginger and a little green chili, sprinkle a bit of salt on a bowlful of soaked sprouts and let your kids munch on as they study, relax or play.

4) Fruits : Fruits have great food value and can be used as snacks if consumed a little early in the evening. Bananas, strawberries, apples, apricots, pineapples, watermelons, grapefruits, plums, and cherries make tasty snacks when served as smoothies or with cinnamon, nuts, and raisins.

Banana and apple pies, grilled pineapples or apricots, watermelon juice, mixed-fruit tutti fruttis, baked apples, banana pancakes, raw strawberries, kiwis could be loved by kids as snacks.

5) Yogurt : Yogurt can be a great component for evening snacks. It can be used to make lip-smacking dips or blended with fruits and boiled veggies to make a tasty bowl of evening munch. Yogurt can be used to make smoothies as well, in place of milk.

A cup of frozen yogurt could be a great and healthy substitute for ice cream in summer. Yogurt has probiotics that build immunity and work wonders with the digestive system.

Rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins, yogurt is probably one of the healthiest snacks that can be served to kids. It is delicious too.

6) Salads : salads are delicious and one of the great snack ideas. Fruits, veggies, chicken, sprouts, herbs, used in various combinations, can make mouth-watering salads.

Mix these with a bit of salt, pepper, and lime juice and make magical munches. Green salads, fruit salads, pasta salads, chicken-veggies salads: there can be so many types of this mini-meal.

7) Potatoes : Fry them, bake them, roast them, steam them, boil them: potatoes can be cooked in multiple ways, and be served as delicious snacks. They are a good source of Vitamin C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and pantothenic acid and full of energy-boosting carbohydrates.

Steamed or boiled potatoes with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, shallow fried potatoes with mayo, baked potato with cheese or ketchup topping, potatoes mashed with bread and cheese, made into small-size balls and shallow fried are some of the amazing ways of preparing tempting snacks.

8) Nuts : Nuts are the healthier and tastier substitutes for food with saturated fat like biscuits and cakes. Nuts have protein, fibre, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and loaded with energy-boosting healthy fat.

Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews: there are many varieties with varied tastes. You may mix 2/3 kinds, or give any one of these to your kids in a stipulated amount and their evenings would be sorted. They are tasty, hence your child could be wanting more and more.

However, watch the amount as the recommended portion of nuts that can be served is not more than 25 grams.

Parents must be aware of the health condition, digestive patterns and intake-capabilities of the children and serve food accordingly. The above are some great snack ideas that could help many parents cope up with the wishes of the kids, as well as feed them healthy. However, they must be served keeping in mind the individual body constitution of a child.

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