5 Healthy Finger Foods For Your Toddler
After you start your baby on solids, the search for different types of safe, tasty food begins. We have some easy bite-size snack suggestions that your child will love.
By Ashwin Dewan
When a baby makes the transition to toddlerhood, you will notice many changes in her. She will try to do things on her own, become more demanding, and will want to eat new foods. This can be a challenge for you as you won’t quite know what foods to give her, especially because she may not be able to digest everything yet.
Introducing variety in texture and flavour early on in your child’s diet (sometimes, even as early as six months) helps her develop a taste for a variety of foods. Remember to steer clear of too much sodium, sugar and spices. The trick is avoid anything that comes out of a box.
Your toddler must learn to love the natural flavours of different foods. At the same time, the diet should be packed with essential nutrients needed for development.
This article looks at five finger foods for your toddler that are not only tasty but high on the health quotient as well.
1) Green peas
Green peas or matar is healthy finger food. You can steam or boil them with a little salt and a dash of pepper if your child can withstand it. According to whfoods.com, green peas are a low-fat food. They are a rich source of omega-3 fats, which are present in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). A cup of green peas contains 30 mg of ALA. Green peas are also packed with antioxidants and strengthen the bones.
2) Steamed carrot slices
Carrots are another nutritious choice for a snack. Carrots are filled with essential vitamins and nutrients and are visually appealing as well. Steamed carrot slices are healthy. However, your toddler may not be able to chew on raw carrot just yet. So what do you do? Steam the carrot slices instead so that they turn soft and chewy, making it easy for your child to eat them.
Simply serve them in a bowl with a little sauce or dip to make it tastier.
3) Watermelon cubes
Your toddler is guaranteed to love this finger food. It is sweet and delicious and makes a juicy meal. Give your child deseeded, cut watermelon and you will see it disappear in no time. Give a twist to the fruit by sprinkling a little chaat masala powder and black salt.
Watermelon is a hydrating food packed with nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, and C and antioxidants and amino acids.
4) Steamed fish
The best way to introduce your toddler to fish is in the form of steamed fish. You must take utmost care to remove the pin bones (if any) before you steam the fish.
Steamed fish is soft and easy to chew. It is also packed with nutrients. Freshwater fish such as salmon is rich in DHA, a fatty acid that promotes brain development.
Cut the steamed fish into small pieces before giving it to your child.
5) Spinach balls
Another example of healthy finger food is spinach balls. A great vegetarian option for your little one, spinach is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals according to Parentinghealthybabies. It protects the liver and acts as a natural laxative. Spinach is also good for the eyes.
Serve spinach balls with sauce or fill the centre with cheese to make it yummier.
Check out this healthy spinach balls recipe:
- 1½ cups chopped spinach
- 1 processed cheese cube, cut into pieces
- 1½ cup boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
- 2/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt to taste
Method of cooking:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Combine the potatoes, spinach, pepper, salt, garlic powder and bread crumbs in a bowl and mix well.
- Divide the mixture into 10 equal portions and shape each one into a round shape.
- Press a little into the centre of each round, place a piece of cheese cube and cover it back to make a ball.
- Roll the balls in the bread crumbs till they are evenly coated from all sides.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the balls turn brown.
If you have a healthy finger food recipe that your child loves, share it with us in the comments below.
About the author:
Written by Ashwin Dewan on 11 August 2017.
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