Why your toddler won’t eat anything and 5 quick and easy recipes to change that!

Why your toddler won’t eat anything and 5 quick and easy recipes to change that!

Toddlers are finicky little things. Their sense of taste and smell is beginning its nascent steps and they are acutely scared of putting anything into their mouth that they worry they might not like.

Preparing a healthy and tasty lunch for them is a challenge for every mum. The trick is not touch all food groups in one go. Don’t serve veggies, curd and rice in one meal. Break them up and serve small frequent meals. But serve them hot. Toddlers love the feel of warm fresh food.

Healthy food for kids under 5

Kids under 5 need a lot of nutrition. They are exploring and learning new things everyday and exhaust their reserves of energy in two hours flat. Fussy kids need to be fed smaller portions more frequently in order for them to not get cranky.

1. The multi-grain myth

Bajra  (pearl millet), Ragi  (finger millet) and foxtail millets are fantastic sources of protein, dietary fiber and several B vitamins. They need to be included in your child’s diet.

Do: Serve them separately first. This helps in identifying which one your child prefers over the other. Store bought ‘multi-grain’ does not help in elimination. It is easier to identify food allergies also when given separately.

Do not: Lump all millets together in one parantha.

Recipe: Pearl Millet Dosa

 Bajra dosa is the perfect to start the millet journey for your child
Bajra dosa is perfect way to start the millet journey for your child

Make a simple parantha and serve with Amul butter. Alternately mix one table spoon of the powder with normal dosa batter and make a millet Dosa. Serve with some cheese.

Warning: Don’t get ambitious and serve it with vegetables. Your lunch will be ruined!

2. Jaggery

Jaggery is rich in iron and is absolutely essential for vegetarian children.

Do: Buy the organic jaggery freely available in supermarkets. Buy the powdered form

Do not: Buy the moulded hard ones that are often kept open.

Recipe: Jaggery pancake

Wholewheat jaggery pancakes offers a healthy dose of iron.
Wholewheat jaggery pancakes offers a healthy dose of iron.

Make a pancake in the shape of their choice. The alphabet their name starts with is usually a bit hit. Organic powdered jaggery blends easily and can be mixed in your wholewheat pancake batter. It is delicious by itself and doesn’t need any other sweetener to go with it. Smear homemade ghee to add calorific value. Go here for wholewheat pancake recipe.

Warning: Jaggery pancake colour may change to brown. Tell them it’s the colour of chocolate.

3. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A (beta carotene), Vitamin C, manganese and copper. With so much goodness in them, junk the ‘aloo’ and try this as an alternative.

Do: Buy the healthy big ones that have the least amount of fibres

Do not: Make a huge batch or prepare them beforehand. Don’t let-in on the surprise!

Recipe:  Sweet Potato fry.

Sweet potato is a super food. This has to be in your child's diet.
Sweet potato is a super food. This has to be in your child’s diet.

Fry them up and serve as finger foods with a mayonnaise dip. Find the recipe here.

Warning: They may complain a taste different. Feign surprise.

4. Paneer

Paneer is absolutely essential for your fussy toddlers’ health. Especially for busy moms who cannot insist on milk, paneer is a must.

Do: Buy the best quality fresh paneer

Don’t: Crumble. One small cube has more paneer than a spoonful of the crumble.

Recipe: Paneer potato tikki

Paneer and potato is a health combo your child can't avoid
Paneer and potato is a health combo your child can’t avoid

Coat a cube of salted paneer in some boiled and mashed potatoes. Roast them in the oven/ microwave with a sprinkling of grated cheese. Voila!

Warning: They may eat the whole plate up!

5. Tomato

Tomato is a terrific source of Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. This will protect your child against recurring infections.

Do: Buy slightly elongated tomatoes.

Don’t: Buy the plump squat looking ones. They are very tart for your toddler.

Recipe: Cheese tomato grill

Grilled tomatoes have immense health benefits for toddlers.
Grilled tomatoes have immense health benefits for toddlers.

Grill roundels of tomato with leftover pizza seasoning and some cheese. Serve one roundel at a time.

Warning: If too tart, please sprinkle sugar to balance flavour.

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