So what is a common phrase that almost all mothers all over the world are so used to hearing but wish they never had to hear? From a little tot to a hyper-active toddler, almost all of them will sometime or the other begin saying that very sentence that we so dread hearing – ‘I don’t want to eat!’
In the tiny tot stage they will show their displeasure by moving away from food, spitting it out, making faces, refusing to open their mouth no matter how much you cajole them. Well if you are thinking this is going to change miraculously once they reach the toddler age, you are in for a surprise, for no matter how grown up they will become, the problems related to eating will only escalate as the years pass. The only consolation is that, at this stage, you can at least fool them and still make them eat what you want them to, using devious means and some scheming. Who said being a parent was simple?
Ensuring that your child gets all the nutrition for proper growth and development is YOUR JOB and not the child’s. A baby is a baby, and that is how babies will behave, but as parents, we can certainly try and do some damage control.
There are many ways to sneak in nutrition in all that your baby has. Learn how:
1. If you’re making khichdi, make sure to put in lots of greens and vegetables.
2. Try and put crushed almonds in your baby’s food whenever you can, even in a dal or khichdi!
3. While making daal, soak in a spoon of daliya too. Also, many days, instead of cooking just one kind of daal, you can mix in different kinds of daal to make a mixed-daal. Not only will your baby get a new taste each day, it will be extra nutritious and you can add in some vegetables to up the health quotient.
4. If your child is fond of soups, use lots of vegetables/chicken and make a delicious soup at home, none of those off-the-shelf instant soups.
5. Make custard and include an assortment of fruits to mix with the custard.
6. Boil peas and corn together and sprinkle a little salt and lemon/butter and black pepper, and a healthy, filling and tasty evening snack is ready.
7. Dry-roast a little bhel (rice puffs) and mix it with corn-flakes, dried curry leaves, a little roasted cumin, salt, a dash of turmeric, some nuts and cut almonds and keep all this – a ready-to-munch snack filled with nutrition.
8. If your family has eggs, while making dosa and idli, you can mix some eggs in the same batter.
9. If your baby loves cheese and butter, which are a good source of energy and nutrition at this stage if given in the right amount, there’s nothing like making your child munch on cheese slices in between meals. Also try and include some form of fat, like ghee (clarified butter) or butter in your child’s meals.
10.Make yummy green soups for your little one using lots of green leafy vegetables cooked in delicious flavours.
12.Milk with chavanpraash/honey is something you can try giving your child. And during the rainy seasons or winters, you can make a warm glass of ginger milk and add a dash of turmeric, which is always good to prevent/cure ailments related to the throat.
13.If your child likes curd, just add a few slices of fruits or mix in some grated veggies and hand it over.
14.For those families that are non-vegetarian, adding fish, chicken, eggs are sure to add lots of protein to the daily meal. Not only can these be mixed into other dishes, they can be prepared as single dishes too. For those who do not prefer non-veg, substitute the same with paneer or soya.