Ruchika Mehta, the mother of three-year-old Aarav, is facing difficulty getting her son to eat. Aarav refuses breakfast and Ruchika must force him to eat. Due to this, Aarav is missing out on vital nutrients needed to keep him energised throughout the day. So, what can Ruchika do?
To begin, Ruchika should try to get to the root cause of the problem. Often, toddlers are fussy eaters and prefer food that suits their taste buds and their moods.
Importance of breakfast for toddlers
Breakfast signals the breaking of the fast the body goes through after the last meal before sleeping. It is important to fuel up the body within 30-60 minutes of waking up for everyone, especially for growing kids/toddlers. Breakfast helps children feel energetic and provides essential nutrients right at the time when the absorption capacity is high.
Let’s go over some great breakfast ideas for toddlers that can give them an array of nutrients and attract them to eat well as they rise and shine.
Breakfast ideas for toddlers:
1) Porridge Fingers: This dish is loaded with energy, fibre, healthy fats and the goodness of dry fruits. Can be carried too in case one needs to head out in the morning.
- 3 level tbsp of porridge oats.
- 2 tbsp milk of choice.
- 1 tsp unsweetened desiccated coconut.
- 1 tsp dried fruits of your choice.
- In a bowl, soak the oats and dry fruits in the milk until you have a mushy mixture.
- Stir in the coconut (or dried fruits).
- Press the mixture into a small, flat-bottomed dish using the back of a spoon.
- Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Cut into fingers while still hot and serve when cooled.
2. Omelette bites: Eggs are loaded with proteins, vitamin A, iron, fats and when it is combined with veggies, it can be termed as a perfect breakfast. These are easy to eat and look attractive as well.Ingredients:
- Cake pop maker or appam maker.
- 2 eggs.
- 1/3 cup milk.
- 1 cup shredded cheese.
- Heat your cake pop maker and coat with few drops of oil.
- Whisk your eggs together with milk in a large measuring cup.
- Pour egg mixture into cake pop maker wells.
- Sprinkle cheese and desired omelette ingredients into egg mixture.
- Close cake pop maker and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove, serve, and enjoy!
3. Savoury pancakes:
These are a good source of protein, beta-carotene, folate, fibre and vitamin C. Add green veggies for an iron punch.
- 1 cup split red lentils (soaked overnight).
- 2 cloves garlic.
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin.
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika pinch turmeric.
- 1/3 cup water.
- 2 handfuls of spinach leaves (finely chopped into ribbons).
- 1/2 tbsp oil for frying.
- Blend all the ingredients (apart from the spinach and oil) until you achieve a smooth batter. Add a little more water if needed.
- Mix the spinach through the batter.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and fry tablespoons of the batter for 2 mins each side
- Serve and enjoy!
4. Ragi flour dosas: Easy to make, these go with all kinds of side dishes and are healthy. Ragi is also a powerhouse of nutrients.
- 1 cup organic homemade ragi flour.
- 1/2 cup wheat flour.
- 1/2 cup grated carrots.
- 1 teaspoon cumin / jeera powder.
- Salt to taste.
- Water or buttermilk as needed.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients and whisk to make a batter with the same consistency as dosa batter . Drizzle the dosa tawa with oil or ghee.
- Pour a ladle of batter and spread it as you would for a regular dosa.
- When the sides begin to cook, flip the dosas over and cook on both sides.
- The dosas should be a light brown. Serve with chutney or a dip of your choice.
5. Smoothie: Are perfect for summer. It hydrates, energises, and are easy to sip on while you are on the go with the toddler. You can add more nutrients by adding in ingredients of your choice.
- 1/2 cup.
- 1/2 cup orange juice.
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks.
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt.
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks.
- 1 tablespoon honey.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- If you find the consistency of your smoothies to be too thick, add small amounts of water or milk until desired consistency is achieved.
- If you do not have frozen fruit to use for the smoothies, fresh fruit will work just fine. If using fresh fruit, make sure to add 1-2 cups of ice to the other ingredients before blending.
6. Sweet potato parathas:
These tubers are rich in fibre, vitamins A, C and B6, and an excellent source of carbohydrates. The orange-fleshed variety is also rich in beta-carotene.
- 1 cup wholewheat flour (atta).
- Water to knead.
- 1 sweet potato ( boiled and peeled ).
- A little salt and pepper (optional).
- A pinch of cumin powder.
- Knead the flour with water into a soft dough.
- Cover and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
- Mash the boiled and peeled sweet potato well, so that there are no lumps.
- Ensure there is not too much moisture in the filling.
- Add a little salt and pepper and cumin powder depending on your baby’s preference.
- You can also add very finely chopped coriander if your baby likes it.
- Leave aside for 5 minutes.
Preparing the parantha:
- Place the filling ball in the center of a flattened dough and cover completely with the dough, making sure there are no holes.
- Keep aside for two minutes.
- Roll it to the size of a small chapatti.
- Heat the frying pan.
- Put the parantha over it.
- Once it gets slightly cooked on one side, flip it over.
- Smear it with ghee or oil using a spoon or spatula.
- Press a little with spatula. This helps in even cooking.
- Let it cook on the other side for a minute or so, till you see spots.
- Flip it again and smear with ghee/oil on this side as well.
- Let it cook for about 30 seconds and take off the fire.
- Serve with yogurt or yogurt dip.
7. Soya Tikki: Are high in protein and used as a vegetarian and lactose alternative for many foods. Plus, a toddler will love the fact he is having something fried.
- 1 cup soya bean dal paste.
- 2 boiled potatoes mashed.
- 1/2 tsp garam masala.
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala.
- ½ cup finely chopped mixed veggies.
- Salt, pepper to taste.
- Chopped coriander leaves.
- Oil to fry.
- Take soya bean dal paste in a big bowl.
- Add boiled and mashed potatoes and veggies
- Add salt and all the spices to your taste.
- Mix everything well using your hands till you get a uniform mixture.
- Add the coriander leaves and mix well.
- Take small amounts of this mixture and make little balls. Then flatten them using your palm to make tikkis.
- Keep the tikkis in the fridge for about half an hour or keeping them ready overnight helps. This will ensure they do not break while frying.
- Take a little oil in a frying pan.
- Once the oil is hot, turn the flame down and add tikkis one by one.
- Roast the tikkison medium heat till you get nice golden colour on both sides.
- Serve with your child’s favourite dip.
Now that there are so many options to offer why not set an example and make sure your toddler enjoys the first meal of his day along with elders in the family gets a great head start!
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