The snacks that my brother and I enjoyed as children, form an essential part of my childhood memories – everything from the deliciously tangy aroma of quick-to-cook noodles, the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of sugary biscuits dipped in tea, and on rare occasions, the spicy crunchiness of masala chips. Before we knew it, these became our comfort foods – ones we would turn to in times of happiness and celebration, as well as sadness and gloom.
In my adult life, however, I hadn’t given much thought to these forgotten childhood tastes. That is until the pandemic hit us, and we found ourselves stuck indoors for over a year. With a sprightly 4-year-old to take care of, I instinctively turned to these comfort foods, carrying forth their legacy by offering them to my son. After this tumultuous year, here’s what I’ve learnt about snacking from observing my son:
- SNACKING CAN BE HEALTHY
It soon became clear to me that if I allowed my son a few of his choicest snacks every day, he was far more likely to eat the healthy goodies on his plate at meal times. When eaten in moderation, snacks can help one stay healthy and depending on the choice of snacks, even boost one’s health.
- SNACKING REGULATES YOUR SCHEDULE
Maintaining a strict schedule of his waking hours, was essential to my son’s well-being and the functioning of my household. Breakfast and virtual classes would lead to snacks and play time. Lunch would be followed by TV time and snacks, and the day would end with play time in the park, dinner and bed. The two snack intervals were strategically placed to ensure my son never got hangry (extreme hunger causing unreasonable anger!), and / or restless and unable to keep up with his daily activities.
- SNACKING CAN BE A CELEBRATORY INDULGENCE
Being stuck at home without access to friends or change of scenery was difficult for most adults. Just imagine how tough it was on the little ones! By offering my son his quota of tasty treats every day, I was able to ensure that he didn’t feel unhappy or gloomy owing to the peculiar situation we were in.
- SNACKING MAY FULFIL A NEED
Mondelēz International’s Second Annual State of Snacking™ Report revealed some interesting results. 3 out of 4 Indians attested to the habit of regular snacking providing nourishment for their body, mind and soul during the pandemic. I noticed this first hand through my son’s snacking habits. Not only has he grown optimally for his age in the physical sense, his mental faculties and self-confidence have blossomed tremendously during this time. I could also relate to 88% of parents mentioned in the report, for whom snack time signalled putting away their work and bonding with their children.
- SNACKING IS A SOCIAL ACTIVITY
Most Indians can relate to this – snacks often act as the glue for social cohesion. Even though families have been at home during this time, most members follow differing work and study schedules. Hence, snacking is one of the few activities where every member of the household can come together, spending quality time as a group.
There are plenty of merits to learning snacking from kids in India – evident from the pointers shared above. Most importantly, the practice of mindful snacking has the power to take us back to our childhood days, allowing us to enjoy a few carefree moments in stressful times.
*This is a sponsored post but views and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.