Growing kids feel hungry all the time. Most kids complain of being hungry in-between meals. An easy to do thing would be to open a pack of biscuits or chips and give it to them. However, these are processed foods which are pure carbs which give them instant sugar rush, but within sometime they would be hungry again. This can actually be detrimental to their work, because they lose concentration. They need something packed with carbs but also rich in proteins and good fats that will slow down the absorption rate of carbs by the body and will slowly move the blood sugar levels up rather than causing an instant spike. It also gives them the nutrition their body needs and keeps them fuller longer and aids them with better concentration. Here are a few high energy snacks for kids.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like almonds and walnuts, and seeds like sesame seeds, flax seeds are a good protein source and pack quite an energy-filled punch. Give your child a handful of almonds and walnuts for a steady and sustained energy boost.However, it is difficult to consume flax seeds or other seeds as it is.
An interesting way to feed your child seeds is to make a Trail Mix. Of course, there are trail mixes available readily in the market. However, most commercial trail mixes contain candies which are high in sugar. You can easily make your own trail mix at home, it doesn’t take much time or effort.
Take the nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, melon seeds) that your kid likes, put in some dried fruit like raisins, dried blue berries or cranberries, etc, rolled oats.
Pack this high energy nuts and seeds trail mix in a small box or a small bag to your child.
Another interesting way to give your child nuts and seeds is to roll them into Granola Bars or Chikkis. Chikki is an Indian version of granola bar made of any kind of nuts or seeds and sweetened with jaggery. Most popular chikkis are Sesame Seed and Peanut Chikkis.
Granola Bars can be made with mashed dates or figs, oats, whole or semi-crushed nuts and seeds, throw in some cocoa powder and you get tasty and healthy chocolate granola bars that your kid will love. You can also roll dates with nuts into energy rolls.
Ladoos are a high energy Indian recipe for kids and adults alike. They are also called energy balls, and for good reason too. Ladoos are made of whole wheat flour or millet along with one or more types of nuts and seeds and jaggery. There is a variety of ladoos and people can add things which their kids prefer. For example, if your child doesn’t appreciate plain flour and nuts ladoos, add some cocoa powder which will turn it into chocolate ladoos or add raisins or other berries for some extra taste.
Some good examples of healthy ladoos are those that are sweetened with dates and jaggery. Make ladoos with whole wheat flour or ragi flour, put in nuts of your choice and sweeten with dates or jaggery.
Nutty Dates Ragi Ladoos that has both Ragi millet and dates is not only an excellent energy snack for kid athletes but is also a healthy toddler snack on the go. As it is soft, toddlers like its taste and can be easily swallowed.
Sesame Peanut Ladoos with sesame seeds and peanuts is a popular kids energy rich food. Give one to your child whenever he or she is hungry in between meals.
You can also make high energy ladoos with instant oats, coconut, peanut butter, chocolate chips and honey.
Whole Wheat/Millet Flour Cookies
If you are getting packaged cookies, then you are not sure of the ingredients that have gone into making of the cookies. You don’t want to stuff your child with hydrogenated oils and unwanted refined sugar.
Cookies on the other hand, that are made of whole wheat flour or millet flour, white butter or oils that you trust, milk, nuts and seeds, oats, and sweetened with jaggery or cane or unrefined sugars can make for an excellent high energy snack for your kid.
Let your child dunk a fiber-rich and nutrient-dense cookie in milk and enjoy one in the evening.
Unless your child is allergic to peanuts, peanut butter is a great combination of protein, carbs and fat. However, you may get hydrogenated oils, even sugar in store-bought nut butters. Make your own peanut butter at home, it's not that difficult.
Peanut butter can be had on toast, pancake, roti or parantha and crackers. Apple and peanut butter is an excellent combination. Slice an apple and put a dollop of peanut butter on the slices and give it to your child. Apple is a wonderful source of fiber, which is good for digestive system too.
You can also make Almond Butter which is also rich in protein and fats.
A banana is not just a mere fruit, but nature’s answer to nutrient-dense dessert. It is rich in potassium, vitamin C, it is sweet, easy to chew and digest. It helps in improving sleeplessness, irritability, and mood swings, which is excellent for toddlers.
Hand a banana to your toddler or older child and have them eat it. You can also make banana milk (with dairy or almond milk) shake or banana smoothie. We would suggest adding some soaked almonds to make it more nutrient-dense.
You can also put sliced bananas on a piece of toast with generously applied peanut butter.
Don’t underestimate the power of an egg. A boiled egg is a quick, high protein treat. They are highly nutritious and don’t take much time to boil and serve. In fact, you can keep hard-boiled eggs for a few days in your refrigerator.
Add some hummus on boiled eggs to give to your child. Or make an egg sandwich with homemade mayo. Or mash 1-2 soft-boiled eggs in a bowl, add some milk, add salt and pepper, mix it nicely. It can be eaten as is or spread on a whole wheat toast. It’s a high energy snack for kid athletes and can fill up your child nicely until mealtime.
The best thing is that some of these high energy snacks for kids can be prepared in advance and can stay fresh for days. For example, granola bars, ladoos, chikkis and trail mix have a shelf life of 1 month. Nut butters can last for upto 6 months. Homemade mayonnaise if kept in the refrigerator can stay for a month.
Making these foods consume some time and effort, but it's a small price to pay for your child's mental and physical development. On the other hand, you can order some of these things, especially cookies, ladoos, chikkis and nut butters from a trusted source.
Remember, the more nutritious foods you provide to your child, the more sustained energy he or she will get which in turn guarantees more concentration. Also, they are not only energy rich foods for kids, but even adults can benefit from them.