Making your kids eat food is not easy (especially Toddlers) and making them eat healthier is neither because they love to eat junk over healthy food most of the time.
So it is a challenge for mothers to make their kids eat food which provides proper nourishment and overall development.
Here are some ideas that will help you in struggling less with the food routine of your kids.
1. Start With An Appealing Breakfast
Let us start with breakfast itself – the most important meal of the day.
Indian Breakfast for kids usually includes- Milk mixed some chocolate powder or corn flakes, eggs, bread toasts, parathas.
This is usual and of course healthy but most of the time children get bored with it every day so at weekends or any off weekdays you can try making something from the same ingredients in different ways. Here is some help for you.
Try an omelette mixed with veggies, scrambled egg(burji’s) with veggies in case they are having boiled eggs in routine.
Make milkshakes- using banana, strawberry, mangoes, etc
You can also try sevayan (Sweet Vermicelli) in milk.
Try sandwiches or toasts deep fry in ghee are also mouth-watering.
2. Include Juice In Brunch
Juices are always a choice for kids, they love to have them. but I don’t recommend packed juice when you are at home at least.
Fresh juices contain more vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional compounds like enzymes than the canned or bottled options. It may be included in every day, maybe in breakfast or as soon as your kid rushes back from the school.
3. Home-Cooked Varieties For Lunch & Dinner:
“There is no food which is as tastier and hygienic than one that is made at home – Homemade food is Love”
Now coming to routine lunch/dinner – rice, chapatti, veg/non-veg gravy, dals are routine. You can again make different dishes with almost the same ingredients.
For me, instead of Plain boiled rice -I prefer veg/chicken pulao, simple fried rice for my daughter. She eats it without fuss. Moreover, all the mentioned pulao’s don’t require many spices (Particularly chillis, turmeric, etc) which are good for kid’s immune system.
Similarly, For non-veg, I don’t stick to routine recipes- I prefer fried chicken, chicken gravies made in yogurt, chick balls with gravy, etc.
For Veg dishes – Mixed vegetables always work well. Try recipes that include soya chunks, they are nutritious and are loved by most of the children.
Some Add On Quick Tips
Add salads to the diet including cucumber, carrots, beetroot. Try adding some chutneys as well like radish or walnut chutney.
4. Healthy Evening Snacks
Every time tea/milk with biscuits is not an ideal choice for the evening – It bores adults too.
Try pakoras – Veg or paneer pakoras, you can also try chicken pakoras.
Homemade Momos with a lot of healthy vegetable stuffing
For a change, you can also try spring rolls at home. Make sure that you add fresh meat if making non-veg snacks or add a lot of vegetables if going for veg snacks.
You may get it outside in minutes as well but if you have time and are conscious about making your kid eat healthily, you have to make efforts. Your child loves to see you making good and different food. It is a wonderful feeling for them too.
5. Focus On Healthy Munching
Kids like to keep munching all the time. Try to create a space between them and packaged snacks like chips or chocolates. You can teach them from very starting to have fruits for their sweet tooth or munching time. Here are some tips for you-
#1. Serve a mixed fruit bowl, adding ice cream, fruit cream in it and see the magic.
#2. In spite of having packaged chips, you can make your own homemade snacks like baked or fried potatoes.
#3. Try dry fruits like raisin, almonds or hazelnuts.
#4. Go with milk with basil seeds ( sabja seeds)
#5. Try some flavored yogurt and smoothies or homemade muffins.
Quick Take Away Points
Well apart from making great food, some more things are to be kept in mind
Set an example for them: Yes, be a role model for them in eating habits as well, make sure you eat together and eat healthy as well. Don’t expect a toddler to not ask you for a carbonated drink if you are having it in front of them.
No policy to finish your plate: Don’t force them to finish plate, sometimes they are really full of their tummies and are not throwing tantrums.
Yes, in no means food should be wasted but make sure you make a plate for them with little less portion as per their age. If they are grown-ups, encourage them to start with little less.
No force Eating.
I have seen parents forcing toddlers to eat and at times they puke it out. Maybe they have not eaten from the last 4 hrs but still, they don’t take.
Catch patterns, see if they are not well and are not able to communicate. See if they don’t like a particular food. Change it to the new food. Give proper gaps between meals.
Don’t Ignore weight problems:
Both overweight and underweight are something you need to keep your child’s pediatrician updated.
Don’t forget to make them do regular outdoor activities including cycling, football, swimming to be encouraged.
Every child is different in every way, it is the responsibility of a parent to watch them carefully, note their food habits and maintain them with a healthier routine.