Food and Nutrition

Holiday Snacking Made Your Child Healthy

Tanuja Sodhi
3 to 7 years

Created by Tanuja Sodhi
Updated on Jan 08, 2013

Holiday Snacking Made Your Child Healthy

Its finally vacation time and you have this inexhaustible to-do list to eliminate. And all that your ‘super-charged little monsters’ seem to be worried about is whether you have packed their ‘empty-calorie-loaded’ junk-box or not! The lard-laden, blubber-making, nutrient-less cookies, candies, waffles, potato chips, etc are all that our little ones have been conditioned to think of as yummy and toothsome snacks. Must holiday snacking always mean chomping cookies, cakes and candies? Why do the young minds perceive expressions such as ‘healthy-eating’ and ‘fun-eating’ as antonyms of each other?

The Reality Check: Holiday snacking does not have to be all about cakes, cookies, candies and the likes. If you involve your kids at the stage of shopping and preparation, holiday snacking would not only be fun, but healthy as well. Right now we are on a holiday to the exotic land of Sikkim and I am loaded with delectable yet healthy and homemade snacks right out of the my not-so-little-one’s (at least my 15 year old would cringe at the thought of still being addressed as ‘the little one’) list of favourites.

So, let me share this list of goodies along with their easy-to-make recipes with you while it is all still fresh in my mind.



1. No-cook granola bars made of jaggery, honey, cinnamon, oats, puffed rice, wheat flakes, almonds, raisins and very little butter. Chop almonds and raisins. Toast the oats, puffed rice and wheat flakes until fragrant. Add the dried fruit to the toasted mixture. Boil the butter, jaggery, honey and cinnamon over medium heat. Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture. Stir until the oat mixture is evenly coated with the butter mixture. Set aside to cool for a while. Line a dish with plastic wrap. Spoon mixture into pan and press to level it. Place in the refrigerator to firm it for 30 minutes. Once firmed, turn out onto a cutting board and cut into bars. Wrap the bars with plastic wraps. Your yummy, healthy and homemade granola bars are ready to be gobbled-up.



2. Fruit chaat made of different coloured fruits such as red and green apples, red and green grapes, strawberries, pomegranate, cherries, kiwi, oranges etc. Let your children select their favourite fruits that have a decent shelf–life. Cut them in different shapes and arrange them creatively. Then add a little black salt, black pepper and a dash of lemon. Your delicious fruit chaat is ready to be devoured!





3. Easy to make trail mix- Lightly roast together some puffed rice/wheat flakes, chana with shells, peanuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, some dried apricots, raisins, almonds/cashews/walnuts. Your tasty snack is grab-and-go ready!






4. Easy-to-carry chopped raw veggies like carrots, radish, cauliflower florets and cucumber make for a wholesome snack made in a jiffy. Serve with low fat dips such as yogurt, bean-curd or hummus. Vegetables taste yummier than they ever can! 






5. A simple multigrain toast served with peanut butter spread can taste like a heavenly snack which can keep your little ones high on energy for a long time. 








6. Sandwiches with a variety of fillings that are easy to make and easy to carry. The sandwiches can be a lot of fun to eat when there is a variety of fillings. Our personal favourites are-

a. hummus with a little olive oil with chili flakes,

b. yogurt herb spread (yogurt + fresh mint+ parsley + minced garlic + salt),

c. cheese and lettuce filling,

d. carrot and green peas spread (boiled and chopped carrots + boiled peas + grated low fat paneer to bind+ little flavoured cheese spread + salt + pepper),

e. mint chutney and cheese slice filling. You could make sandwiches more fun by using cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.



7. Pineapple cheese sticks are a great finger food that is extremely easy to assemble. Just take a toothpick and stick a piece of pineapple, a cube of cheese and a plum or cherry and your little tykes with polish off the plate before you even blink your eyes!






8. Chana dal/moong dal/besan chillas (Indian pancakes) are a great and healthy snack to carry along on a holiday. Just soak dal for 5-6 hours. Clean and add little water, ginger, green chilies, roasted & powdered cumin seeds and black salt. Blend in a mixer coarsely. Spread a thin layer of batter on a hot, non-stick tawa. Turn when crisp and red. Cut into halves and pack along. This snack is quite wholesome and keeps the growling little tummies gratified for a longer while.




9. Mini sooji-curd idlis are a delightful snack for the young and the adults alike. They are quick and easy to prepare. Add 1 ½ cup curd to 1 cup sooji. Heat very little canola oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, little chana dal and curry leaves to it. Pour this seasoning into sooji-curd batter. Add chopped coriander leaves to it. Now add a teaspoon of regular Eno salt and a little table salt. Keep aside for 5-10 mins and then pour into mini idli maker dish. Steam for 10 minutes. This is a sure hit with the little ones.



10. Low fat bhelpuri is another staple for road trips or any other trip for that matter. You just need to get the green mint-coriander chutney ready in time. Mix puffed rice, roasted peanuts, corn flakes and carry along on your trip. Just before eating, add the tangy green chutney to the mix. Add a boiled chopped potato, chopped onion and tomato if easily available. Your savory and scrumptious snack is ready to be scrunched!

So, what are you waiting for?! You have 10 healthy, homemade and preservative-free snack ideas waiting for you to pamper your young ones with.

Happy snacking when your little one’s hunger pangs come a-calling!

  • 13
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| Jun 15, 2015

wow really very healthy snacks. Thank you

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| Jun 14, 2015

Nice amd simple ideas..

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| Jun 13, 2015

Simple n healthy recipes.

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| Jun 13, 2015

Nice idea!!

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| May 18, 2014

Simple to cook but relishing recipes

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| May 13, 2014

Great idea n health snacks

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| May 13, 2014

also gr8 idea to involve child in making salads or bhelpuri etc. in vacations

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| May 13, 2014

very nice recipes...

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| Jul 02, 2013

good options

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| May 28, 2013

I usually give parantha to my son stuffed with paneer or methinor potato and he takes with much disinterest but this time around I tried your idli recipe for my son, and it worked. Thanks.

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| May 25, 2013

Easy and simple mouth watering recipes for kids... thanks for the great ideas

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| Jan 11, 2013

Great ideas and quick to make recipes too. Thanks!

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| Jan 11, 2013

Nice! The underlying theme is that holidays dont mean endless junk snacking, particularly when holidays keep getting extended in this biting cold. Love your suggestions Ms. Sodhi, thanks!

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