Food & Diet

Energy-Boosting Meals and Snacks for School-Aged Kids

Written by Kaushiki Gangully
Published: May 23, 2024

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In the twenty-first century, life is hard for adults but harder for kids. The former received a childhood that either blossomed them or prepared them for survival in an era when the climate and the world were much kinder in their health. But for school-aged children these days, new diseases, increasing pollution, and low-quality food, along with unseemly amounts of stress, have resulted in a widening chasm of ennui, anxiety, exhaustion, and eating disorders.

To aid their school-going children, parents and adults must ensure their wholesome development as an individual with a proper diet, creative and sporty hobbies, and an accepting home environment. And since food plays a significant role in the daily mood, energy level, and overall development of an individual, here are some easy-to-make energy-boosting meals and snacks for school-aged kids that can be whipped up quickly in the kitchen.

Energy-Giving Snacks For School-Aged Kids To Munch On The Go
1. Hummus and Veggie Sticks
hummus-and-veggie-sticks

The traditional Middle Eastern dip is a dish in itself, with its protein and energy-packed zingy taste. Hummus, because of its chickpea content, is not only a source of protein, calcium, folate, magnesium, and potassium but is also a rich source of dietary fiber and antioxidants. Consuming four tablespoons of traditional, chickpea-based hummus (100 kcal) every day provides a decent 25 gms of dietary fiber and 2and 2 cups of legumes per week. Combine that with some baby carrots, celery sticks, or other diced raw vegetables, and you have a healthy energy-giving snack that is tasty and easy to make.

2. Greek Yogurt and Granola

Chilled Greek Yogurt is one of the best ways to beat the summer heat without eating empty calories or depriving schoolkids of a little treat. Since yoghurt is already a great source of protein and calcium, it is best to buy it unflavored, and then customize according to the child’s taste. And since granola, homemade or store-bought, contains a good number of dried fruits, nuts, and carbs, it is best to use small portions for energy-boosting snacks on the go. Add a touch of honey and some good ol’ nutty granola with a few berries. Or, if your child is a fussy eater, add some low-fat dark chocolate granola to your plain Greek yogurt and watch them dig into it enroute to tuitions.

3. Popcorn
popcorn

Popcorn is one of the world’s most popular snacks that can be made in a variety of ways, ranging from unhealthy movie-theater kind to healthy air-popped ones at home. Since health is wealth and schoolkids need sustainable energy to burn, instead of empty calories, it is better to opt for the latter. To enhance the taste, add a dollop of butter, peri peri masala, or a generous sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.

Easy Energy-Boosting Meals That School Kids Will Crave
1. Rajma Chawal

Rajma, or Kidney Bean, is a high-protein legume that is chock full of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, and phytochemicals. Its rich potassium content also improves heart health, enhances memory, and promotes gut health. The traditional Indian rajma chawal is a comfort food that can give energy and vigor to even heartbroken individuals, making a perfect energy-boosting meal for hungry school kids.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of water
  • Steamed rice (to pair with the rajma curry)
  • ¾ cup of rajma (soak them overnight)
  • 1 cup of plain yoghurt (whisked)
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • A pinch of Asafetida (Hing)
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  • Add the soaked rajma to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and cook on high heat for 1 whistle before lowering it and cooking for 10 more minutes. Let the pressure go down by itself before opening the lid.
  • In a fresh pan, heat oil before adding the chopped onions. Sprinkle some salt to speed up the process and cook the onions till soft and translucent. Lower the heat.
  • Add the whisked yoghurt and keep mixing to prevent it from curdling. Bring to a simmer and stir every couple of minutes till it becomes a thick paste.
  • Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and asafetida. Mix well and cook for a minute before adding the cooked rajma.
  • Keep stirring and mixing well. Add any water from the rajma, and/or fresh water, if required.
  • Keep stirring and bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes, before turning off the flame and putting the lid back on to cook in its own heat and spices for a few more minutes before serving with steamed rice.
2. Overnight Oats
overnight-oats

Oats are high in soluble fiber, which enhances the beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract and boosts metabolism of children. When paired with milk, fresh fruits, and delicious homemade flavors like chocolate, apple cinnamon, and peanut butter, overnight oats become a wonderful breakfast option that gives school-going kids a solid boost of energy, protein, carbs, minerals, and dietary fiber, without leading to mid-morning burnouts and crankiness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups of milk
  • ⅔ cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup of honey/ brown molasses (gur)
  • ¼ cup of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate pieces

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients into a bowl, mason jar, or tiffin box. Stir thoroughly to combine well and avoid lumps. Keep adding milk slowly and stirring.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best taste.
  • Serve chilled for a fast and indulgent summer breakfast.
  • Can keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Conclusion

In 2024, with the soaring temperatures and stress levels, school-aged kids can neither be forced nor tempted by rewards. They can simply be introduced to healthy energy-boosting foods that will give the required nutrients for their bodies while maintaining appealing flavors. Be it international dishes or homely ones that your school-going child craves, these energy-giving snacks and meals are easy to make, convenient to eat on the go, and soothing to the foodie eye.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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