Food & Diet

10 Healthy & High Protein Snacks for Kids

Written by Rasika Thakur Parab
Published: November 26, 2022
Consulting Medical Nutritionist with an experience of more than 14 years.

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Introduce these healthy snacks into your child’s daily diet to provide them with ample protein for their overall growth and well-being.

Proteins are powerful little molecules that are crucial in many bodily functions. They aid muscle growth and repair, cell structure, storing and transporting other essential nutrients such as vitamins B and E, zinc, iron and magnesium, and the formation of our organs, glands, arteries, and muscles. This micronutrient is essential during your child’s growing years as its lack may cause them to feel lethargic, have trouble concentrating, grow more slowly, have joint and bone pain, take longer to repair cuts, and have a weaker immune system. 

Healthy body and brain

Besides healthy growth, protein for children is vital for their cognition, as it improves their ability to focus, think effectively, and learn. Kids with protein deficiency may have poorer IQs and test scores in school, behavioural issues, poor memory, and other cognitive deficits. Approximately 18–20% of our body is protein, which exists in each cell’s trillions. Even though essential, many of us struggle to incorporate protein into our own or our children’s diets. According to the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB), an alarming 73% of Indians are deprived of protein, and a staggering 93% are unaware of their daily protein requirement. Furthermore, nearly 95% of mothers know of protein as a micronutrient, but a meagre 3% understand its importance. Little wonder, then, a study found that 71% of Indians have poor muscle health and 68% have inadequate protein content levels.

The virtues of protein aside, we are all too aware of how challenging it is to get your kid to eat, especially healthy food. But, there is delectable protein food for kids that you can rely on to ensure that they keep feeling satiated for long hours of school and can focus on studies and all things kids. 

Easy and Protein-rich Foods for Kids

Sample these 10 snacks you can pack in your child’s tiffin and treat them to at home. Moreover, you can make these from ingredients readily available in your kitchen. 

1. Green peas and sprouts chaat

You can whip up a sweet and tangy chaat that’s yummy and nutritious, like Bhel Puri. While sprouted moong has 24.9 grams of protein, green peas have 5 gm per 100 gm. 

Mix and toss the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • Boiled Kabuli chana (white chickpeas)
  • Half-boiled Safed Vatana (dried white peas)
  • Half-boiled moong sprouts
  • Boiled green peas
  • Boiled and chopped potato
  • Finely-chopped onion
  • Finely-chopped tomato
  • Sweet and green chutney
  • Lemon juice and salt to taste

Garnish the mix with sev, crushed papdi, and chopped coriander. Serve it fresh. 

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2. Sprouts tikki

A healthy twist to another favourite snack, Aloo Tikki, this dish is loaded with nutrients. 

  • Make a smooth paste of sprouted moong (whole green gram) with water. 
  • Add besan (gram flour), coriander, mint leaves, green chilli chutney, salt and asafoetida to the sprouted moong past and mix it well.
  • Divide the paste into tikkis and coat each piece with coriander and mint leaves
  • Cook the tikkis in a bit of oil on a heated non-stick tava until they turn golden brown on both sides. 

3. Tandoori paneer tikka

You do not need a tandoor to make this evergreen starter. A good old microwave serves the purpose just fine. Paneer contains 23 gm of protein while the curd comes loaded with 11 gm of protein.

  • Mix curds with ginger paste, chilli powder, garam masala, Kasuri methi, coriander, oil and salt to prepare a marinade
  • Add paneer and capsicum to the mix and set it aside for 15 minutes
  • Keep the pieces in a glass dish and microwave for 3 minutes on a high setting
  • Sprinkle it with chaat masala and serve it hot

4. Cheese popcorn

Popcorn is a healthy option to keep your child feeling full, and it’s among their favourite snacks. Make this recipe with regular cheese cubes instead of cheddar cheese and give them 18 gm of protein from cheese and 11 gm of it from popcorn. 

  • ½ bowl of popcorn
  • 2 cubes of cheese
  • 2 tsp oil
  • ¼ spoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste 


  • Stir corn in oil, add turmeric and salt and prepare the popcorn.
  • Add grated cheese cubes to the mix and stir until the popcorn is ready.

5. Tomato besan chilla 

Gram flour or besan is a good source of protein. This dosa-like recipe is tasty and healthy, and one chilla will give your kid 10.7 gm of protein. Combine tomatoes, besan, chopped onion, coriander, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, hing, cumin powder and seeds — mix water to make a smooth batter. Pour the batter onto a skillet and cook it like a dosa.  

6. Fruit and dried fruits yoghurt

This is one of the quickest recipes that’s rich in protein. If your child is fussy about eating fruits, you can combine yoghurt with fruit pulp and top it up with dried fruits. Pistachios and almonds are especially rich in protein. Sweeten the curd and add bits or chunks of fruits to serve. Make it look colourful to motivate children to gobble it up. Your kid will get 10 gm of protein on consuming 100 gm of yoghurt. 

7. Grilled peanut butter banana sandwich 

This sweet breakfast snack combines carbs to fire up your kid’s energy in the morning with protein and the goodness of bananas. Spread the peanut butter on one side of the bread. Stuff it with banana slices and grill it on a skillet with cooking oil. One such sandwich contains 10.3 gm of protein. 

8. Aloo soya tikki

Soya bean is among the most nutritious foods, and its 100 gm contains 18.2 gm of protein. Aloo soya tikki is another easy-to-make, delish snack you can serve in the morning or evening. 

  • Make a mix of mashed and steamed potatoes, soaked and squeezed soya granules 
  • Add crumbled paneer
  • Mix finely chopped green chilli and ginger, cumin powder, amchur powder, coriander and 
  • salt
  • Mix these ingredients in a bowl without adding water. To prevent stickiness, add corn flour.
  • Make balls from the mixture
  • Roll these in bread crumbs or corn flour lightly
  • Deep fry the balls till they turn golden brown
  • Serve it with your kid’s favourite sauce

9. Roasted makhana

Foxnuts or lotus nuts look like popcorn and have the same crunch. Roast makhana in ghee, and add salt and chaat masala to get a protein-rich snack. A serving of 100 gm of makhana contains 9.7 gm of protein. You can also add pomegranate onions and tomatoes to make Makhana Bhel for your child. 

10. Moong daal nuggets

Moong Dal Cutlets or nuggets not only please the taste buds but have high-quality protein, Vitamin B6, potassium, copper, and iron. 

  • Keep a small portion of ¾ cup of cooked yellow moong dal aside and make a coarse paste of the rest. 
  • Add both these to bread crumbs.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, fennel seeds, salt and corn flour.
  • Mix all the ingredients well with your hands and make a dough
  • Grease your hands with oil and smooth patties of the dal mix
  • Heat oil on medium flame and shallow fry the patties until they turn crisp on both sides.
  • Add onion, coriander leaves, curry leaves, amchur (dry mango powder), chilli powder, chaat masala, 

And that’s how you can ensure that your kid’s diet is packed with protein for healthy muscles, bones, sharp concentration to focus at school, strong immunity and many other health benefits. Protein is also helpful in maintaining a healthy weight as it keeps you feeling full for a longer time. So, your child won’t be tempted to eat junk food. 

These yummy and easy dishes will be lapped up. And if your kid still resists consuming protein, they might be more inspired if you tell them that one type of protein is named Pikachurin, after the Pokemon, Pikachu. There’s one called Sonic Hedgehog, named after Sonic the Hedgehog!

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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