Chocolate is loved by people of all age groups but children are especially fond of this sweet, creamy and aromatic food. Chocolates have the reputation of being unhealthy due to high sugar and fat content, and could also be the cause of dental cavities in children; this is the reason parents try to restrict their children from having too much of this sweet treat. It’s not that chocolate is devoid of any nutrient. There are many antioxidants and also nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, and flavonoids that can be beneficial for health. Having chocolates also improves mood as it boosts the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that regulates moods. It is the excess sugar, and saturated fats that could be harmful. But the good news is that one can also make tasty chocolate recipes at home with healthy ingredients that can also satiate your child’s sweet tooth. (Also read: Spinach recipes: Healthy and tasty palak snacks to boost your child’s immunity)
Manpreet Kaur Paul, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Faridabad gives tips to make your homemade chocolate recipes healthier and shares 4 tasty chocolate snacks that you can make for your kid.
“Indulgent, irresistible, and oh-so-delicious – chocolate has always been a treat that brings smiles to faces of all ages. These healthy recipes are carefully crafted to strike the perfect balance between indulgence and wholesome goodness, ensuring that your little one receives both the joy of chocolate and the essential nutrients they need. While chocolate is often seen as a guilty pleasure, it can actually have some health benefits when consumed in moderation and prepared with wholesome ingredients. The recipes are designed to offer a balance between the irresistible flavor of chocolate and nutritional needs of toddlers,” says Paul.
“By incorporating ingredients such as fruits, whole grains and natural sweeteners, these recipes provide essential nutrients while still satisfying the child’s sweet tooth. It’s important to note that portion control is the key, as even healthy chocolate treats should be consumed in moderation as a part of well-rounded diet. It is important, however, to ensure that chocolate consumption remains moderated and balanced with a healthy diet to promote overall well- being. With proper guidance and a mindful approach, chocolate recipes can provide enjoyable and memorable experiences for toddlers,” says the nutritionist.
1. Choco Dates
Sprouted ragi flour – half cup
Unsweetened almond butter – 1 tbsp
Seedless dates – 10-12
Melted chocolate – 50 gm
- Roast the ragi flour in a thick pan for 8-10 minutes on a medium flame. Keep stirring the flour to avoid getting burnt. After 10 minutes, the flour will change its texture and colour.
- Now, grind the dates in a food processor until it becomes a lumpy ball.
- Now pour the melted chocolates over the dates and give it a whirl. Add the roasted ragi flour and unsweetened almond butter and process again.
- Finally, pour the mixture into a pan and mould the mixture into bite sized balls.
- Your healthy choco dates are ready to be served
2. Chocolate pakode
All-purpose flour- 100 gms
Milk- 1 small cup
Salt- according to taste
Chocolates of choice- 4
Chocolate sauce- for dressing
White chocolate chips- a few
- Take a bowl, add the all-purpose flour and salt. Now pour milk onto the dry ingredients.
- Dip your favorite chocolates into the mixture and coat them well.
- Now, place the coated chocolates in an air fryer for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve hot and you may top it off with some delicious chocolate sauce and white chocolate chips
3. Gluten free Nutella
Hazelnuts (roasted, whole) – 200 gm
Coconut sugar- 1 cup
Cocoa powder- 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Coconut oil- 2 tbsp
Salt- a pinch
- Add all the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend together until every ingredient is well combined and you get a natural grainy texture.
- Homemade gluten free Nutella is ready to be served.
4. Chocolate halwa
Water- 1.5 cups
Suji- 1 cup
Cocoa powder, unsweetened- 2 tbsp
Desi ghee- 1 tbsp
Powdered jaggery- 2tsp
Powdered cardamon- 1tsp
- Take a heavy bottomed pan and add desi ghee to it. Keep the gas on medium flame and now add suji to it. Roast well until you get a nice smell.
- Then, add cocoa powder to that mixture. Let it cook for couple more minutes. Keep stirring the mixture continuously. Finally add the jaggery powder to it.
- Now, when the mixture starts to resemble like a halwa, remove from flame and add powdered cardamom powder before serving.