Children of growing age, need a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet on daily basis. Even for someone who likes eating vegetables, sometimes it may become a challenge to complete children’s daily dose of serving every day. Children mostly do not like to eat vegetables as it is, but as it is essential here are simple tricks to include vegetables and fruits in your child’s diet.
Children like sweet items and may not like the taste of normal vegetables and that is why as a mother, you may want to present it in various forms. Never stop offering your children vegetables, even they may not like it. Also, what matters if the portion intake of quantity. Choose to various varieties of colors, textures and tastes to children. Here are simple recipes from our toddler food guide –
- Cheela – A cheela is basically an Indian savoury and yummy pancake. You can make it a little thicker than a Dosa and is basically made with dal/gram flour base. You can add various grated vegetables to this of your choice. Make a batter and spread on a tawa in a pancake shape. A cheela is a wonderful way to get your children to eat – healthy lentils and vegetables together. You can try cheela made of oats, rawa or moong daal also.
- Upma – Upma which is made of rawa is a healthy source of protein, carbohydrates are low in calories. Also, it is rich in Vitamin B and iron. It is quick to cook and is a great breakfast/ snacks/lunch box item. I add a lot of vegetables like carrots, peas, onion, and capsicum to increase the nutrition quotient.
- Paranthas – Paranthas are a popular and staple breakfast option especially in north India. They are a category of Indian bread that is kneaded with the help of water/ ghee/milk and wheat flour. Paranthas can be made interesting by adding vegetables. For eg – you can try potato-peas parantha, spinach parantha or cottage cheese parantha. These stuffed paranthas go very well with curd or butter, especially home-made butter. Dal parathas are another great way to include proteins in your toddler’s meals.
- French toast – A French toast is basically made sweet but you can give it a savoury twist by adding grated vegetables. So, a combination of eggs with spices of your choice and grates vegetables is a hit and yummy! This will provide a healthy combination of nutrients to your children.
- Khichdi – Khichdi is known as the ultimate comfort food which you can serve with a bowl of curd. It is made of a mix of lentils, rice and vegetables. Add your choice of vegetables like peas, potato, broccolini, capsicum, onion, beans or tomato. You can also make khichdi in the same way with the help of oats. A simple trick is to include minute vegetables. Chop them finely before adding.
- Crispy Dosas – You can make dosas with various mixes – starting from rice, ragi, green gram dal, wheat, millets or oats. These go very well with coconut or tomato chutney and are super quick to make and are a yummy treat for the little tummies. A simple trick for dosas which I used for my girls – Make it in interesting shapes like triangle, diamond or any face shape to make it look interesting. See oats beetroot dosa recipe.
- Poha – Poha is not only a healthy variant but is also extremely yummy and can be cooked easily. This is a great way to add vegetables into your child’s diet. Try adding potatoes, peas, groundnuts, beans, cauliflower, carrots to it to zest up its nutrition quotient. See this easy and yummy poha recipe here.
- Sandwiches – Homemade sandwiches are not only a wonderful breakfast option but also, a great snacks/lunch box option for your kids. You can add cheese, thinly slices vegetables like – carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cottage cheese. Serve with tomato sauce, mint curd and sprinkled with some chaat masala.
- Soups – My elder one used to love soups when she was small. I would experiment with different vegetables to make it interesting. vegetables like beetroot for red, pumpkin for yellow and spinach for green. You can add cream on the tops to make it taste better and appealing to your naughty toddlers.
- Vegetable rolls – This is my favourite recipe which is an instant hit with kids. You can include vegetables with paneer to make paneer rolls. Also, this is a great way for kids to finish their vegetables. Normally when you pack vegetables with paratha or roti, mostly the sabzi comes back as such in the tiffin. When you make chappati rolls, the kids tend to eat it better. See my popular Paneer roll recipe on my youtube channel. Subscribe for more such easy recipes.
Other simple recipes which you can make to include vegetables are –
Bread pizza – Top it up with vegetables and cheese.
Vegetable chapatis – Knead the dough with a vegetable puree instead of plain water. Kids are surely going to love red, yellow or green chappatis and a great way to include veggies in their diet.
Hope this toddler food guide is helpful for parents who struggle to include vegetables in their kid’s meals. Do let us know any more interesting ideas if you have in the comment section below.
For more such interesting, easy and healthy recipes, see the Nutrition section here.