Is your child obsessed with chocolates? Read on to know more about healthy replacers of chocolates


Just less than a week ago I had one of my colleagues who called me to share her concern about her 2.5-year-old toddler who is extremely fond of chocolates and chocolate-based cookies and desserts. She mentioned that his craziness is to the extent that it often overrides his desire to eat a healthy meal. Hence; as a Nutritionist, I was asked to share some food items or recipes that can be used as healthy replacers of chocolates.


Before highlighting some healthy replacers, i would like to share some insights about healthy parenting habits, especially while feeding kids. First and foremost, set a timetable for your kids as it makes them well aware of when they are supposed to eat. Younger toddlers may need food every 2 hours while school-going kids may need it every 3–4 hours, hence setting a fixed timetable is important. Also, set a timetable for recreational activities like indoor/ outdoor games, etc. Involve yourself at every step with your kid so as to make them feel well attended.

Remember that high fat, high carbs, high calories are equally bad for kids as they are for adults and hence, excessive intake can have harmful consequences in future. This condition can give rise to childhood obesity or teen obesity. Research suggests that a child with healthy food intake is more likely to follow a healthy lifestyle, become independent, make healthier decisions, focus well and perform well. She/ she is less prone to mood disorders and irritability. Such children are also known to develop attributes like taking good care of their younger siblings and friends. In order to help our kids develop some healthy food habits, herewith are some healthy replacers of chocolates for kids and adolescents:

Peanut Brittle

  1. Chikkis: In India, the festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th January each year and with this festival, we have the advent of chikkis in most of our houses. These chikkis are very healthy options for kids as they are usually made up of healthy ingredients like nuts (peanuts)/ oilseeds (til)/ dals (chana)/ carbs (kurmura/ rajgira).

As chikkis are made with jaggery and not sugar, they are one of most healthy replacers of chocolates and cakes. Jaggery contributes to dietary iron which is needed for growing kids while sugar provides just empty calories. It is ideally better to prefer homemade chikkis over outside chikkis.


2. Dry fruit lassi/ shrikhand: With the advent of warmer climatic conditions after the Uttarayan, we may not expect too cold temperatures to prevail. This is the right time to add healthy curd to the diet of kids. If they like it in the form of lassi, it can be given with nuts in either chopped or powdered form. A fresh strawberry flavoured almond lassi/ fresh sitaphal flavoured shrikhand can prove to be an attractive and tasty healthy replacer for chocolates.

3. Milkshakes: Mothers are required to put in persistent efforts to help their kids untick their craziness for chocolates. One such effort that can go a long way is to provide other tasty options. Milkshakes are one such extremely versatile options and healthy replacers as they can be prepared in a number of attractive ways.


A seasonal fruit-based milkshake with just a little better presentation skill can work wonders with kids. For example, a chickoo milkshake with just a dash of chocolate or a mango milkshake with chia seeds and walnuts or rose and an almond milkshake or banana with hazelnuts/ pistachios milkshake can form great sources of healthy replacers of chocolates! If you are already using whole milk, you may not need to add any cream to the milkshakes. In case you are using low-fat milk, you may choose to add cream occasionally.

Coconut Burfi

4. Coconut burfi: Coconut is an excellent source of energy and minerals for growing kids. Sweets made of coconut usually do not fail in terms of taste for kids. It is an extremely simple and easy-to-make recipe and is usually liked in every Indian house. If only mothers can hold on with persistence, they surely overcome the chocolate menace forever in their kids! You may not aim to completely ban chocolates for kids, but their use should definitely be restricted.

With these simple and easily doable options as healthy replacers of chocolates, I am hopeful that my colleague will be able to satisfy sweet cravings for her child in a healthier way.



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