What I Learnt About Snacking by Observing My Son

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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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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**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.

48 comments

  1. I am glad you have such a sensible approach to snacking. Sadly pleasure has become a bad word om tpday’s world and everyone wants to do things that aren’t healthy…… and for what ? to live a longer more miserable life? 😉

    1. Yes snacking is a good habit and with my kids it’s important to have proper and healthy snacks. Meals can take tme to cook and a snack is a perfect way to keep them chilled and happy otherwise kids can get irritated with hunger.

  2. Kids, teach us a lot actually. It is a great idea to let him snack and get him to eat healthy options. That’s a real clever mom who believes in mindful snacking. #stateofsnacking

  3. The way we snack has definitely undergone a change since the lockdown. During these trying times, communities have bonded over food. Neighbours have dropped boxes of snacks and food for older people or those unwell. Yes, we are eating healthier too and at home we forget our worries when the family gets together to chat and snack. You’re a good mom Noor and a responsible one too, to inculcate healthy snacking habits in your son too. Enjoyed this read!

  4. Snacking has a major role to play in our life. Just like we say power nap energies us for the rest of the day, a needed amount of snack at a given time in a day acts as the fuel to function. We cannot underestimate the importance of snack.

  5. I agree that if we plan better and pay good attention on type and timing of snacks, it could be a great way to include more essential nutrients in our kid’s routine diet. for parents, it is very important to pay attention on this thing, otherwise it may lead to unhealthy weight gain and obesity in kids at young age.

  6. Honestly, snacking is the best thing for a food lover like me. It keeps me sane , all we need is to choose the best kind of snack option for us as well as for kids. Enjoyed this read

  7. agree Noor, when eaten in moderation, snacks can make a good dietary supplement.

  8. Snacking in a healthy way and on a particular timing can be fine. If we watch what our kids eat, and offer them healthy snacks it will not harm them but help them.

  9. Of course, snacking can be healthy too. I love to grab some carrots to snack. I also roast it in the air fryer or sometimes add a dollop of honey too with some herbs for added taste. Snacking is the perfect time for us to get together as a family.

  10. This pandemic Has definitely taught us to eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.though I want this to end badly.
    Snacking can definitely be healthy and it all depends upon us. I agree snacking is the time when all the family members comes together and spend some fun time.

  11. what a lovely trip down memory lane for me… i remember our evening gatherings of the family and neighbors over tea and snacks – definitely healthy for the body and the mind and soul. your observations also drive home how snacking is something that we should continue to make a part of the day.

  12. I quite agree to what you have written in this post about snacking. For sure, healthy snacking does more benefits that giving big breaks between meals.

  13. Snacking is such a balancing thing! I agree that it regulates schedule. It also serves to be so comforting and mood lifting!

  14. We learn so many things from out child . Now snacking is another thing which should be done wisely to avoid obesity kind of health issues. Very nice read Noor .

  15. Snacking can be an important part of your diet plan. Just that we should be mindful of what we eat. Thanks for the post. It is indeed a mythbuster

  16. Being a diabetic now I have realised the power of snacking and how it can help to snack on every few hours. Its not just an indulgence but a good habit to have short and intermittent meals. Happy to read your learnings from sons snacking

  17. I take snacking seriously. Healthy options are always better since they’re filling and also give us energy, not just empty calories. I encourage my kids to go for homemade cookies, fruits, nuts etc over junk food.

  18. Snacking is an important meal in this pandemic and it has become more regular. It is upto us to keep right snacks at right place at right time to have most out of snacks and less harm to health.

  19. It’s amazing the amount of things our children teach us. I’m glad you find a way out by observing your children. A very interesting article to read indeed.

  20. Snacking is a social activity – that’s so true. Our 4 PM chai is our favourite time as a family because we get to choose and share our snacks 😀

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