Are you serving evening snacks for kids that are rich in vitamins and minerals? Instead of processed and unhealthy foods, you could amp up the evening snacking for your child with healthy yet interesting options.
Ever given it thought, to why these nutrients are essential for your growing children and teens?
Well… Growing kids need vitamins and minerals for proper growth, development and overall good health.
A vitamin is an essential micronutrient that children and teens need in small quantities for the proper functioning of their metabolism. Minerals are essential nutrients required for several necessary functions in the body. They are found in soil and water, through which they travel into plants and animals. Therefore, humans get their vitamins and minerals from plant or animal food-based diets. We also get minerals from drinking water. So vitamins and minerals play a vital role in dishes served as evening snacks for kids. But, both deficient and excessive intake of vitamins and minerals can potentially cause illness, so it’s necessary to give children a balanced diet.
What are the important vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs function properly. Below listed are the important vitamins and minerals that should be a part of evening snacks for kids:
- Vitamins – A, B, C, D, E, and K
- Minerals – Calcium, Zinc, Iron, and Iodine
The role of vitamins and minerals and their food sources
Vitamin A (Retinol) – It is needed for good eyesight, healthy skin, healthy growth and development, and maintaining a good immune system.
Food Sources – Oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, cheese, milk & yogurt.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) – This vitamin helps promote cell health, brain function, proper nerve function, growth of red blood cells, and also helps maintain energy levels.
Food Sources – Peas, wholegrain bread, bananas, oranges & nuts.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Vitamin B2 breaks down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to convert them into energy to be used by the body. It is needed for growth and overall good health.
Food Sources – Spinach, kidney beans, tomatoes, cheese, milk, yogurt, asparagus & sweet potatoes.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Vitamin B3 also helps improve blood fat levels, boosts brain function and skin health.
Food Sources – Nuts & seeds, legumes, bananas, brown rice, fortified cereals and breads.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – It is significant for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous and immune systems healthy.
Food Sources – Peanuts, soya beans, wheat germs, bananas, oats & potatoes.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps the body create DNA, boosts brain and nervous system health, and helps form healthy red blood cells.
Food Sources – Yogurt, cheese, milk, fortified cereals, soymilk & almond milk.
Vitamin C (absorbic acid) – This nutrient enhances immunity, helps protect cells and keeps them healthy, and helps maintain healthy blood vessels, bones and cartilage. It also helps in wound healing.
Food sources – Oranges, lemons, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes.
Vitamin D – It helps regulate calcium and phosphate in the system. These nutrients are needed to maintain bone, teeth and muscle health. Vitamin D2 is obtained from a daily diet and vitamin D3 is obtained from exposure to sunlight. Both types of vitamin D are necessary.
Food Sources – Cheese, milk, mushrooms, soymilk, almond milk, fortified cereals.
Vitamin E – It helps maintain healthy skin, hair and eyes, and strengthens the body to fight against illness and infection.
Food Sources – Sunflower seeds, peanuts, pumpkin, red bell pepper, wheat germ oil & almonds.
Vitamin K – It helps in making various proteins needed for blood clotting, and the building of bones. Prothrombin is a vitamin K-dependent protein that supports blood clotting. Osteocalcin is also a protein that requires vitamin K to produce healthy bone tissue.
Food Sources – Soya beans, canola oil, and green leafy veggies like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce.
Calcium – This essential mineral is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
Food Sources – milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, spinach, okra, soya beans & figs.
Iron – Iron is a mineral required by the body for growth and development, to make hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body), and to make myoglobin (a protein that provides oxygen to muscles).
Food Sources – Apples, pomegranate, spinach, beans, chickpeas, peas, raisins & apricot.
Iodine – This mineral aids in making thyroid hormones, which keeps cells and the metabolic rate healthy.
Food sources – Iodized salt, strawberries, pineapples, cranberries, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese.
Zinc – Zinc is a mineral found throughout your body, which helps the immune system and metabolism function. It is also significant for wound healing and your sense of taste and smell.
Food Sources – Nuts, seeds, oats, tofu, legumes including lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and other beans.
4 simple & healthy vitamins and mineral-rich recipes as evening snacks for kids
1. Chana Chaat
Chana or chickpeas along with veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals and serve as a healthy and filling evening snack for kids.
Recipe: Boil the chickpeas. Meanwhile, finely chop some onions, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, and cucumber. Mix the boiled chana with the veggies in a bowl. Add cumin powder, chaat masala, lemon or tamarind chutney, and salt to taste, and serve.
2. Tomato & carrot soup with soup sticks
Soup is a light and healthy evening snack for kids. Tomatoes and carrots serve as good sources of many vitamins and minerals.
Recipe: Roast onions, tomatoes, and garlic with some salt. Blend them together with one-cup water, and strain the puree. Make a slurry by adding ¾ tbsp. cornstarch ½ cup water. Bring the soup to a boil and stir in the slurry slowly on a simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add some sugar. Once the soup reaches the desired consistency, add herbs of your choice and black pepper. Serve with soup sticks and butter.
3. Cheesy Paneer toast and orange juice
Dairy byproducts like cheese and paneer are great sources of vitamins A, B, and D along with minerals like calcium and iodine. They make for a hearty evening snack for kids. On the other hand, oranges are one of the best sources of vitamin C.
Recipe: Make paneer bhurji first. Heat some oil and add some cumin seeds (jeera) to it. After a few seconds add chopped onions and sauté until brown. Then add some chopped tomatoes to it and cook until tomatoes become mushy and soft. Add the minced paneer, spices, salt, and cook for a few minutes. Then spread this paneer mixture or bhurji on 2 slices of bread. Place the open sandwich in a pan and grate some cheese on top. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame, until the cheese melts. Serve it to your kids with a glass of orange juice.
4. Soya Keema and peas cutlets
Soya beans are a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Peas add up to the nutrient list and together they are a great evening snack for kids.
Recipe: Boil peas and set them aside. Then, boil 4 cups water and remove from stove. Add soya granules to the hot water and let it sit for a few minutes until they soften. In a pan, heat some oil. Throw in some cumin seeds (jeera) and let them crackle. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook until light brown. Stir in the soya granules, boiled peas and spices of your choice in the pan immediately. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes. Take the mixture off the flame and add some roasted besan (gram flour) to it. Make slurry as required with 3 tbsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp water. Make balls with the soya mixture and flatten them to make tikki. Coat the balls with slurry and crushed cornflakes. Shallow fry them in oil/ghee. Serve with chutney or sauce.
Other healthy evening snacks for kids loaded with vitamins and minerals could include fruits and veggies salads with nuts, strawberry and banana shake along with peanut butter toast, spinach and paneer sandwiches, boiled sweet potatoes chaat, a glass of flavoured milk along with some dry nuts, Brussels sprouts salad, Greek yogurt with blueberries or apricot, nuts and seeds. There are numerous ways to serve up vitamin and mineral-rich snacks to kids. These healthy vitamin and mineral food sources can be mixed up in creative ways to give your growing kids proper nutrition and diet.
The views expressed are that of the expert alone.
How to add TJK to homescreen?
- 1. Tap the share icon on your browser.
- 2. Select “Add to Home screen” from the menu.
How to add TJK to homescreen?
- Click on "Add Now" below and accept the browser prompt.
- Alternatively you can click on “Add to Home screen” from the browser menu.
How to add TJK to homescreen?
- 1. Tap Icon on the top right of your screen.
- 2. Select “ Add to Home screen” from the menu.
Add Tayyari Jeet Ki to your home screen, for easy access.Add