For Your Kids

Top five healthy snack ideas for your toddler

Having trouble feeding your fussy but adorable toddler? Children usually like to see something new on their plate each time they are served. However, parents may sometimes run out of ideas for satiating the finicky taste buds of their tiny tots. Here are a few snack ideas to keep your toddler happy…

Smoothies

Who does not like these lathered-up and foam-infused delights? Pack a smoothie with plenty of milk, almond milk, or soya milk, and layer it with nuts and fruits to bring a nut-rational meal in a glass to your toddler’s table. You can puree pineapple and mangoes, which can then be combined with milk and honey, topped with walnuts for the perfect smoothie. Alternatively, you can make curd-based smoothies with plenty of bananas, and passion fruit for an exotic taste like none other. Use your imagination and put those cute touches like mini cocktail umbrellas and sliced fruit on the side to spark the interest and imagination of your toddler.

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Vegetable fingers

Cut a few colourful vegetables like carrots, beans, and other goodies, prop them in a cup, and serve them with a curd-based or cheesy dip. You can top the dip with tahini or some sour cream for that extra punch. This would make a great nutritious and tasty snack. Also, with such snacks, the hand-eye coordination of the toddler tends to increase as does the pincer grip that involves holding objects delicately with the forefinger and thumb. This is also a good way to introduce children to the habit of eating vegetables. In the course of time, this snack can be turned into a salad with a yummy cream-based dressing so that the child can enjoy a bowlful before supper or at lunch.

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Multigrain crispy wafers

You can make these at home or buy them from the store. These multigrain wafers are very healthy. You can put out some salsa, or sour cream which are also easy to make at home. The child can dip or crack the wafers or crackers and enjoy a good and filling snack. This will ensure that he/she gets the necessary carbohydrates in between meals, which is great for replenishing dwindling energy levels. It is a good idea to make funny faces on the crackers or wafers with chopped vegetables so that the toddler has fun while munching on this snack.

Toasted seeds

Always keep a mix of various seeds like watermelon seeds, muskmelon seeds, cucumber seeds, sunflowers seeds, and even flax seeds in a jar. The flax seeds should be the minimum in this mix. At snack time, you can toast some and add some quick seasoning like herbs, or even chaat This will change the flavour each time and the toddler will have a healthy snack to munch on. You can also toast the seeds and store them beforehand. These toasted seeds can be powdered and added to salads and as seasoning to pulses and other vegetable preparations. This will add plenty of nutrition to any and every meal.

Chickpeas

Combine black beans, chickpeas, and white-eyed kidney beans. Boil them and store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Whenever your child is hungry, this is a great protein-rich meal to serve up. It can also act as an appetizer before the actual meal. You can choose and change the choice of vegetables and garnish each time so that the child gets a new taste every time. You can make a chaat one day with lemon, coriander leaves, lots of finely chopped tomatoes, and onions. Alternatively, you can add a dollop of mayonnaise and make a quick salad with some lettuce and colourful bell peppers. This is a high-protein meal that the toddler is bound to look forward to. You will, however, need to remember to finish the boiled batch every 3 to 4 days. Do not store for long. Also, do not serve more than a bowlful at a time as it may be difficult for the young one to digest too much at a time.

Developing healthy eating habits in the child is a matter of getting down to the basics and creating their flavours at home. Take the help of your toddler in breaking the herbs and separating the leaves from the stems, or in picking out the snack that he or she wants. This will create interest in the child and help him/her eat better. Also, remember to make mealtimes pleasant so that the child has good food habits and good memories of the same.

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