Women are no longer working in just their kitchens. They have jobs, look after their families; they cook, clean and teach the children. The parental roles in most houses have evolved. The fathers are more cooperative (in most homes) and are more than willing to take up more responsibility at home. The chores are shared and the kids too actively participate in the upkeep of their homes.
In the long positive strides we have taken, our kids miss out on the good old traditional snack items. The evening snacks have now increased in variety but decreased in terms of quality and nutrition all thanks to the mushrooming bakeries in every street and corner.
Back when we were school-going children, our grandparents used to stay with us off and on and we had our fill of healthy snacks after coming back from school. Bakery items (the cream rolls and puffs and whatnot) were a strict no-no and our grandmother used to insist on healthy snacks for kids. She used to make a variety of snacks for each evening and we never got bored with the fare. Among it all, the semiya upma has remained a favorite. So much that we make it even for breakfast or lunch on some days.
Why should we ensure healthy snacks for kids?
Healthy snacks for kids can be seen as a creative way to sneak in some nutrition that your kid might otherwise refuse to eat. Try adding some green vegetables or the ones they do not like, to a snack that they like. For example, sneaking in green vegetables in a cutlet or a veg roll makes the vegetable itself invisible for the kid, but the nutrition does enter the child.
No matter how much we feed them at home, kids get tired very easily and school is not exactly a cake walk. Hours of sitting down, the games period and the mere effort to reach their school itself is enough to make most kids feel drained out and hungry.
Sending kids with small containers of healthy snacks will ensure that they would not feel hungry in the day time and resort to unhealthy items that are loaded with sugar and carbs.
Also, when you have healthy snack options lying around the house, the kids tend to not overdose on unhealthy variants which later lead to unnecessary health issues.
Healthy eating habits coupled with exercises and an active lifestyle would ensure that your kids grow up with the minimum amount of health issues and what better gift to children than good health isn’t it?
Are you still thinking about that Semiya Upma?
Well, here is my version of the recipe, adapted from what my grandmother and mother used to make.
Use fried vermicelli which is generally broken into one inch long pieces. If sourcing fried vermicelli is a challenge, buy the long ones, break them into one inch long pieces and fry them in a tablespoon or two of ghee.
In a frying pan, add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add thinly sliced onions and a spoon of crushed garlic. Once they are well sautéed add vegetables of your choice – carrot, beans, peas – anything. Vegetables that do not have a high water content are the best choice for this recipe or else the upma might end up soggy. To this, add a liter of boiling water, sufficient salt and 3 cups of fried vermicelli/semiya. Lower the flame and wait till it is cooked and the water is all absorbed. Depending on the brand of vermicelli, you might need to add some more water for the contents to get cooked. Once done, drizzle a spoonful of ghee and a handful of fried groundnuts for a crunch.
Is this how you make it at home?
How do you ensure that there are enough healthy snacks for kids at home?
Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with PlaceofOrigin.