I would like to start with a disclaimer…all those moms who have hurriedly clicked this post with the hope of shoving 3 full meals and 3 snacks into your fussy eater….should just hold your horses.
As long as your baby is healthy, don’t push his appetite. He might just end up hating food anyway!
And by healthy I mean the following:
- Is active physically- plays around. Not lethargic
- Is not hyper-allergic- ie he doesn’t develop skin allergies to food, mosquito bites, certain cloth materials etc- if your baby is indeed erupting with bumps and rashes frequently you should get her tested for known allergies
- Is gaining some height and weight- that doesn’t mean that it should be exactly as your neighbour’s kid. My daughter doesn’t figure in the bottom 3 percentile also for her age. And we got her tested for every damn thing in the world. Did her calorie intake count for a month. And now we just figured that she is just petite. She grows in grams and millimeters…but that’s fine!
- Is mentally active- picks up and grasps things told to him and has a decent memory for his age.
- Is emotionally healthy- not over-cranky, insecure or scared all the time.
If you feel all these areas are somewhat taken care of, let me recommend some fun snacks that my daughter really liked(who is probably the world’s fussiest eater….well then…we all feel the same about our kid anyway)
Chicken sausages– My daughter like it if I shallow fry them a bit after defrosting. This whole snack takes about 5-7 mins to make. Even if you are a vegan I would suggest giving your kid non-veg in her first few years atleast. They are undoubtedly great sources of protein after all.
Chicken salami– Similar to chicken sausages, I shallow fry these too after defrosting.
Boiled broccoli– Just plain boiled broccoli finds its way in her mouth. No salt no seasoning. You could try some salt if your little one prefers it.
Boiled cauliflower– I season it with a pinch of salt and pepper
Dosa– Since my lil one is against veggies since birth, I make plain dosas. A nice variant I figured was cheese dosa. Just grate some cheese while cooking the dosa. It will stick to the insides of the dosa and your lil one will love it. With dosa she gets her rice and dals.
Fruits– Apart from a few fruits like pomegranate, kiwis and cranberries- I can peacefully expect fruits to be finished from her plate. Try options like not peeling your fruits before giving your lil one. Sometimes they love chewing on the peels.
Potato fingers– There is a love-hate relationship here. Sometimes she loves them. Other times she wont touch them.
Veggies dough parantha– Getting kids to eat veggies can be like getting the ISI to confess to terrorism. So I mash some veggies in the dough I make for her to get some little quantity of veggies in her tiny tummy!
Cakes– My daughter hates icing. So she eats only the sponge cakes I make at home. To get her to eat some healthy stuff- I usually make them out of wheat flour.
Carrots/cucumbers– A hot summer day is made so refreshing with coarsely peeled chilled carrots/cucumbers. Cucumbers are best to beat the heat due to their high water content.
Rusk– Made of semolina, I don’t mind giving her rusks as a mid-meal snack.
Wheat pasta/semolina spaghetti– Pasta is undoubtedly a common favourite of most babies. Just switch to semolina or wheat pasta to add the health component to the pasta. In lack of time, I do give her instant pasta too. No harm trying those out too.
Cheese slices– Great for getting your calcium dose. However horrible for constipated kids like mine!
Boiled eggs– These are great travel snacks too. I just boil two eggs and keep them with the shells intact . During a long travel, just peel them and give them to your toddler to hold. She can keep munching on them slowly. WARNING: boiled eggs, esp yolk, tends to be sticky. Keep some water to sip ready while she is having them.
Cornflakes/chocos– I have to skip milk with these though ( I know I know whats the point of cornflakes if you cant get them to drink milk!) yet, these are easy snacks to carry too.
Milk– HAHAHA…..how did this make it to my “Easy” snacks list. Yes its not! I thought of mentioning it here just to help you try out plain milk instead of some chocolate additive added to it. I know of moms who skipped adding the chocolate and gave their babies plain sweetened milk- that had more takers than adding some booster to it. So you could also probably try going back to the basics with your toddler when it comes to milk!
Nuts/Munakka– Forgive me for not knowing what Munakka is in English or any other regional language. It is great to build immunity in your baby. 5-6 pieces of Almonds and 5-6 pieces of Munakka in a day helps keep the cough and cold away. If you wish to keep them in water overnight, you could try that too.
These are some snacks that my daughter took to. If you have some more suggestions that worked with your toddler please leave them in the comment box below to help many moms like me!
Though I stick to emotional and mental health for the mom, I thought of including this post coz we all know the quickest way to be NIRVANA-MA: is when your baby gives you back an empty plate!!! Right??