4 Easy and Healthy Snack Ideas for a Fussy Eater

The biggest question on my mind and my toddler's lips everyday: what's for snack? Initially it was very easy to put something together and in case the dish failed to impress, there was always cookies and milk to save the evening.  However I soon realized the importance of a filling 'snack'. Apart from the energy boost, a snack is the best way to ensure adequate nutrient intake each day. Becoming a mom meant that my cooking skills were put to the ultimate test and I soon realised that snack time would become the most important meal - and most likely one to help conquer all my fussy eaters food choices.
So I quickly began scouring the Internet for fun, healthy snack recipes that were QUICK and EASY. I couldn't wait to try them for my son but If only it were that easy! My picky eater seemed to dislike every possible ' healthy snack' that I sometimes took great effort to plan. This is where a call to my mum gave me lots of ideas and the courage to tackle the situation that seemed to be going out of hand.
Here are 4 healthy and easy snacks that have never failed to impress my picky eater.
1. Cutlets
Cutlets are an easy, tasty evening snack that can keep my son going until dinner. This snack is the best way to get your kids to love vegetables and they won't even know what's in it. There are several variations and the most popular ones so far: beetroot, potato, mixed vegetables (carrot, peas, potato), and fish.
Preparation time: 20 minutes (after vegetables are boiled)
Ingredients: vegetables  (potatoes, carrots, peas or beetroot), ginger (cut in tiny pieces or grated),  coriander leaves, salt to taste.
Boil potatoes and other vegetables, mash and keep aside to cool
In a pan add a small amount of oil and fry onions till translucent, add grated ginger, coriander leaf and the mashed vegetables and fry for a few minutes. Add salt as required.
Make small balls and flatten them out as oval or circle cutlets. 
Coat the cutlet with bread crumbs and shallow fry until the cutlet is golden brown and crisp.
2. Egg and Cheese Sandwiches  
Egg sandwiches were a favorite travel snack for my brother and me as kids. The egg sandwich evolved from a simple preparation to a 'masala version' that does take extra time. The first time I made this, I knew it would become an absolute favorite not just for my son but the husband too.
Here's the simple version:
Preparation time: 10 minutes (after eggs are boiled)
Ingredients: toasted bread, boiled eggs, butter, a cube of cheese, salt and pepper as required. 
Boil the eggs and keep aside to cool. Use a fork to mash the eggs with butter, cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on toasted bread.
To add a fun element: cut the bread in to small squares and triangles.
For the masala version: fry onions, ginger garlic, tomatoes, a pinch of turmeric and garam masala (add salt as required). Cut the boiled egg into tiny pieces and mix carefully with the masala. Once done, spread on toasted,  add a slice of cheese over and microwave for five seconds (till cheese melts).
3. Oats Kheer (with a twist)
Kheer is a common snack in almost every household I know but my son did not like several versions that I tried initially. Oats was offered to him one evening and quite surprisingly he loved the taste and it worked like a charm. The extra twist comes in adding one spoon of Junior Horlicks to the kheer, something that my son relishes. Keeping in mind the growing needs of my child, I had decided to incorporate Horlicks into his diet and since this was a family favorite there was no second thought. Junior Horlicks not only contains the essential nutrients for growth and brain development but also helps to bridge the nutritional gap that can sometimes be a huge concern with picky eaters.
Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Ingredients: Oats, milk, one teaspoon of Junior Horlicks, a pinch a salt
Method: Heat the milk and add the oats, slowly stirring to prevent it getting stuck. Add the spoon of Junior Horlicks, pinch of salt and stir till it's cooked. Sprinkle with nuts or cut fruit if required.
4. Chickpeas (better known as sundal)
Chickpeas are the healthiest and the best source of protein and fiber. This version has always been successful as a snack instead of salad. I started with the white colored chickpeas and as my son got used to the taste, I introduced the other versions. 
Preparation time: 10 minutes after chickpeas are boiled 
Ingredients: chickpeas soaked overnight and pressure cooked till soft. Mustard seeds, curry leaves, onion, grated ginger and scraped coconut.
Boil chickpeas until soft and set aside to cool.
In a pan add a few mustard seeds and when it begins to splutter, add onions and fry until they turn translucent. Add grated ginger and fry for a minute or two, add curry leaf, salt to taste. Finally add scraped coconut and fry for a few minutes more. Add boiled chickpeas.
The snack ideas listed above are simple, tried and tested recipes that have helped me introduce a variety of healthy foods to my extremely fussy eater. Snack time has improved and although we still have 'cookie' days as well, this is now the happiest and most exciting meal of the day. I Would love to hear about your child's favorite snack recipes. Do share fun snack ideas and if you like this article, follow me for similar articles.
Thanks for taking the time to read.