Tempting food for toddlers- Any such thing is there?

I was thinking of writing this post in January to say Happy New Year- guess it is sort of late now, but in any case I hope you all had a great new year. We welcomed the new year with lil R catching a cold so that explains my absence from the blogging scene. With the temperatures going down here in Texas, soups are really comforting for the winter and having a cold is the best reason one can give for making soups often :)

As I talk about toddler food, I think of the past two weeks-there is this sudden change in his eating habits, he has become so picky that anything I make is now being met with a hmmm-um huum- na-na. I wonder how these kids learn the word no so fast, and know the meaning of it too though I do not use the word No infront of lil R.

The biggest support I get in bringing up baby, if I have not declared(!!) it till today is from N(he has got no other choice anyways). He appreciates and supports the numerous recipes I make for lil R ranging from noodles,pasta,rice,upmas, idlis, dosas, mock pizzas on breads, soups, etc etc., I said he appreciates because sometimes the way babies were brought up is different when you compare the food babies were given 30 years ago and what we give now so I am drowned with advices from everyone which does not work with lil R. There is no point in forcing the food the child will not eat. It is easier to make foods that the little one loves and will eat. So more than anything else, what matters the most when you are struggling to tempt a toddler with food is unconditional support from your spouse :)

Lil R has his chart firm in his mind I guess- pooris are Ok, chappatis a big No no. Dosas are Ok, idlis are not! So I started making vegetable purees and make pooris with that puree instead of adding water to the dough. Same for dosas, vegetable dosas cut like the shape of noodles disappears faster!

For adults we say we eat with our eyes first- the aroma, presentation everything attracts but what to do for toddlers? This is the age they love to try different foods, so we have to go with it and offer variations. There have been days when I was clueless and wondered what to give him, but these are some variations that worked on days that made me feel like cooking for kids is a breeze!

– Making fruit infused milk- Blending cooked strawberries or cooked cherries(1 or two is enough) with milk in a blender and then straining it(to remove any pulp) to give him colored milk!

– Cooking vermicelli(semia) in different vegetable purees instead of plain water, same goes for pasta too.

-Flavoring his cereal with home made fruit blends like berries, apples, oranges, peaches,bananas, honey- instead of giving plain cereal. This is economical too, instead of buying flavored cereals, you can make different flavors at home! (Honey I started using after R was a year old)

-For protein including beans like cooked and mashed garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black eye peas instead of plain lentils with rice (cooking and mashing the beans is a must).

-Pastas: I cook it longer than adente and then sometimes saute it with onions, tomatoes, finely chopped carrots,broccoli,peas and top it with little bit of various indian masala powders(sometimes garam masala)- somehow he likes a pinch of spice hence the Indianized pasta! I call it pasta upma too(sounds terrible huh??). He gobbles it up faster than the usual pasta!

Finally the soup which started this post- a soup with milk. I started giving lil R only the broth, before we added pepper to our taste but now he likes the soup with milk, like how we serve grown ups. Sweetcorn is quite tricky while giving to toddlers so if you want to give the corn, just mash it with a spoon so that it does not get stuck in the toddler’s throat. Or better just blend it once to give it a chunky texture. This is a recipe I found in Kohl’s Lunch box recipe ideas and some recipes are so easy and delicious to make for toddlers also.

Ingredients:

Carrot-1(Finely chopped)
Potato- 1 (Finely chopped)
Peas-optional- 3 tbsp
Sweet corn(Fresh or frozen)- 1/4 cup
Salt- to taste
Pepper- less a pinch- a dash is enough
Bay leaf-1
Olive oil- 1 tbsp
Milk- 1 cup
Water- 1 cup (I added vegetable bouillion cubes)

Method:

Heat olive oil in a pan and add bay leaf. Then stir fry onions in olive oil adding salt. Add other vegetables- carrots, peas,sweet corn, potatoes and stir fry well. Mix the boullion cube with a glass of warm water and pour it into the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes till vegetables are tender.

Pour required quantity of milk depending on whether you want the soup to be thick or thin. I usually add around 1 cup of whole milk and let it boil for another 2-3 minutes on a low flame. Once you get the desired consistency, switch it off. Serve warm with croutons or bread. For toddlers check the spice level so that it is not too hot or peppery. Remember to remove the bay leaf before serving kids.This is one good recipe to hide veggies apart from pasta and pizza I guess :)

Speaking of healthy food, Nithu has an ongoing event which specializes on baby food- Healthy food for kids event ,Some of the entires I want to send to the event are:

Preparing Baby Food-Stage 1

Food for 4-6 month old babies

Rasam Rice for Babies(Rice and Lentil with tomato)

Beginners rasam rice

After 9 months: Pasta with Vegetables

Yogurt and Fruit Blends

See you all soon with something sweet!

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the attachments to this post:

Pasta-Soup
Pasta-Soup

Baby Food Logo (6 to 9 Months)
Baby Food Logo (6 to 9 Months)


2 Comments to “Tempting food for toddlers- Any such thing is there?”

  1. Sonia says:

    When he begins to chew start fruit leather, teething biscuits etc. All home made..

  2. Cham says:

    My son was totally no fuss baby, thank God, except milk, he never had the required amount. So our doct recommended very early semi- solid for him, perhaps that is why he liked i guess.
    But now a different story, his taste changes every 2 months :) Hehe pasta upma… what else tangachi ?

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