How to Sneak Health into Your Dad’s Favourite Snacks

This Father's Day help your dad to ditch bad snacking habits by offering home healthy options that are wholesome and tasty.

Dads! They love a good hearty meal, piping hot snacks with a drink, pakoras or chicken drumsticks on a Sunday. But let’s not leave all the worrying about health to mother, and help dad fix the pantry! 

Did you know that men under the age of 75 are more at risk of heart disease?  The British Heart Foundation’s 2017 report says that men under the age of 75 are more likely to die from coronary heart disease, stroke and rheumatic heart disease. 

It is time you take the charge and make some healthy changes to his crummy diet, without making it seem like he’s going on a diet. We promise it will be the best Father’s Day moment you’ll have in a long time! 

Swap Chakna with (sprout) Chaat 

Keep out the deep-fried and ready-to-eat snacks and munchies, these fried foods have transfats which are bad news for the heart. Stock up the refrigerator with sprouts (moong, chana, methi) and fresh veggies, so you can rustle up a chaat or salad. Sprinkle a spoonful of toasted flaxseeds for a shot of good fats. Bonus tip: Keep an assortment of chutneys for a tasty kick. 

Swap: Fried chicken with grilled satay sticks

Remember, chicken nuggets and drumsticks should make a rare appearance on your dad’s plate. Instead, get him hooked to different marinades for lean meat, or to saute veggies with—herbs and garlic; garam masala pastes with mustard oil; lemon juice, black pepper and ginger for a kick of flavor. Grill or saute on a griddle, and set him off on a deliciously healthy path.     

Swap: Mayo/Ketchup with Hummus

Dips and spreads are a go-to snack for crunchy TV snacks. So, this comfortable alliance must end here. Keep the ketchup away, and replace calorie-laden mayo with a healthy jar of hummus. Serve it rolled in a roti instead of bread. Mumbai-based nutritionist Disha Jhaveri suggests including flaxseed paste for a dose of good fats. Prepare fresh batches of hung curd and salsa dips to serve with carrot and cucumber sticks, or sautéed mushrooms. Adding mint paste into different dips will enhance the taste. 

Swap: Refined sugar desserts with jaggery

Ideally, remove white sugar from your parent’s pantry, this simple sugar leads to a spike in the glycemic index of blood. Jaggery does a good job with tea (add the milk right at the end), sherbet, kheer and even pancakes. Powdered jaggery is now available in most grocery shops. If daddy has a sweet tooth, stock up on bite-sized moong/besan/wholewheat flour laddoos, sweetened with jaggery.  

There’s more! Make sure the kitchen is stocked with nuts, fresh fruits and veggies. Wholesome meals mean fewer snack cravings. Go on, have fun swapping roles! 

With inputs from Mumbai-based clinical nutritionist Disha Jhaveri


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