Emerging Trends In Nutritious Snacks And Meals For Children
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Since the advent of the pandemic, the focus on what children consume daily has grown tremendously. Today, most food nutritionists believe that a plant-based diet is best suited for adults and children. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that providing a clean and green diet with all the essential macronutrients such as protein, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fat, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals works excellent in helping kids meet their daily nutritional requirements. 

Most everyday urban diets are replete with processed junk foods and fizzy colas that are bad news for your kid's health. So the mantle lies with parents to ensure that their kids eat nutritious and balanced meals. The trick is to begin early and allow your child to develop a taste for healthy food by steering them away from sugary and processed foods. It is pretty simple, really - if you want your children to be strong and healthy, they must eat a well-balanced diet daily.

However, it is only natural that kids prefer eating tasty foods and speaking to their palette. Therefore, several emerging food trends presently revolve around the development of plant-based snacks filled with nutrients and are also delectable to eat and appeal to the kids’ tastes. 

Ms.Subiya Baiganpalli - Msc. Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at OZiva shares some of the critical trends in the healthy snacks category for kids:

Conscious Snacking

In the realm of kids’ nutrition, more and more plant-based snacking options are becoming the go-to option due to the twin nutrition-taste values. With the consumer demand for healthy snacking, companies are also developing new food categories to satiate the taste buds and promote a healthy mind and body. This has led to a whole new food group targeting kids and young adults – holistic snacking.  To ensure that your child meets their daily dietary requirements through their snacks, you can include options such as a healthy growth protein drink in their diet with delicious flavours such as chocolate and vanilla.

Plant-based means power

The post-COVID food scene is focused mainly on sustaining a good lifestyle that consists of good physical workouts and healthy eating. Here healthy implies a green and plant-based diet that is great for the body and overall well-being. Therefore, we will likely witness several brands widening their product portfolio with nutrient-packed plant-based snacking and manipulation options. This means a lot of superfoods, greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses and lentils, grains and other whole foods. Expect these conventional foods in exciting and eclectic avatars to captivate children's taste buds and encourage healthy eating. One of the most kid-friendly and appealing avatars of plant-based snacks includes brightly-coloured, delicious nutrition gummies loaded with vitamins, Ayurvedic herbs, superfoods, and minerals. These gummies are vegan and free of artificial preservatives, gelatin, artificial colours and sweeteners. 

Gut friendly is kid-friendly

With consumers growing more aware and knowledgeable, the significance of microbiome health has grown massively. It has been seen that a majority of people around the globe include various pre, pro, and post-biotic foods in their children’s everyday diet to boost the presence of gut-friendly bacteria in the stomach. Prebiotics are food for healthy microbes in the gut. They help nourish beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus, while probiotics work to fight off harmful bacteria and restore balance in the body. The benefits of eating probiotic foods are not just limited to a healthy gut and digestion but also heightened immunity, mental well-being, and metabolism in kids and helped prevent constipation and diarrhoea. If you would like to add more probiotics to your kids’ diet, consider including a healthy and flavourful protein drink containing probiotics and prebiotics to help their gut health.

The rise of the clean label

The rise of the new-age informed customer has also driven the demand for clean nutrition – an amalgamation of pure, simple and easy-to-procure ingredients that come with a clean label certificate and are free from any harmful substances or contaminants. This clean label certificate is often given by prestigious organisations such as the non-profit Clean Label Project in the USA, which tests the products for over 300 contaminants and clears them. Consumers increasingly desire complete transparency and insight into how a particular food is made, from the production process to packaging and transportation. There has been a clear-cut demand for food closer to the earth and more accessible to the tummy. Parents are equipping themselves with all the essential facts when choosing the best nutrition options for their children.

Sustainable is good

Amidst the climate change crisis, present-day customers naturally transition towards brands that stick to their sustainability claims. Moreover, parents are vocal in their demand for ethical food production practices and sustainable sourcing of ingredients for kids' nutrition. This has catapulted the rise of new and developed food generation processes like regenerative agriculture and carbon-negative production. Therefore, brands dabbling in kids and adult nutrition are taking concrete stands on environmental concerns to showcase their dedication to enhancing existing sustainability benchmarks by continuously raising the bar. 

Many forward-looking brands create novel food solutions for kids increasingly modelled around plant-based foods, transparency, clean nutrition, probiotics, and sustainability. Today, it is imperative that children eat food that can help them derive maximum nutrients by assisting them in reaching their true potential. Therefore, parents have to introduce a holistic diet -  the goodness of clean and green plant-based nutrition to their children early by offering them delicious snacks and drinks loaded with essential macro and micronutrients to help them become the best versions of themselves.