As a caretaker and custodian of your youngster’s well-being, you need to know what kids need to grow healthy and strong and more importantly how to get them to finish off their platter. Then you have nailed down one of the biggest problems faced by mammas of all generations- an end to the return gifts (here, read as foods that are left unfinished by kids for mommies to gobble them up. Children need a lot of proteins and fiber-rich foods to grow strong naturally. Given the fact that today’s little ones are exposed to more junk food than the previous generations, it becomes slightly difficult for moms to pack healthy food that also tastes great. However, when you are armed with the right methods to do so, why worry?
Read on to equip yourself with the right culinary skills that your little one starts nicknaming you -Yummy Mummy.
This superfood is just next to indispensable in your growing child’s diet. An egg a day offers a 5-year-old almost one-third of his protein requirements. If boiled egg is not your kid’s favourite, then scramble an egg, bundle it up and pack it in a flour tortilla. If you are in need of an on-the-go meal, make a breakfast pita the night before and pack it for the next day’s travel.
The growing up years can be well cheesed up for your little one with this high protein food item. If plain cheese singles don’t impress your kiddo much, get innovative with cutting them in fun shapes and encourage your young one with inspiring triangles, hexagons and smilies of cheese cubes. Inspire them to munch on ‘satellite snacks’ by sticking pretzel sticks into the cheese cubes. Toasted flour tortilla stuffed with cheese is another recipe for slightly older kids.
This childhood favourite is rich in fibre and protein. Plus vitamins, magnesium and dietary fibre allow it to become an ideal staple item in kids’ dishes. To bring some twist from the regular style, make simple and silly PB sandwiches using rice cakes or toasted mini waffles rather than bread, or spruce it up with raspberries and yogurt. The treat will just be super fun to eat. Also well-known in legumes category, peanut butter when united with whole-wheat bread, in sandwich form in your child’s lunchbox offer a serving of two legumes daily.
Try to introduce homemade fresh yogurt to your children in their early stages. Nothing beats yogurt when it comes to competing in terms of a source of calcium. But if your child refuses to have it plain, dress it up. Up the nutritional value as well as the taste by whipping it up with granola and berries or prepare a homemade fruity yogurt pop and you are sure to beat the sugary store-bought frozen treats.
These appealing and not required to chew or munch but simply sippable treats make children go crazy over them. The best part is that they are packed with nutrients. Prefer fatless vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and a banana for the smoothie’s base. Then try-out combining it with freshly cut or frozen fruit. Smoothies are a great way to push two to three servings of fruit plus fibre into your little one’s platter.
This Egyptian food spread prepared from cooked, mashed chickpeas works as an excellent dip for children’s taste buds. When blended with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic the flavour is good enough for a perfect kiddy dip. Hummus is rich in Vitamin B6, folate and iron. Spread it on cut-up vegetables or crackers or dress up a pita bread sandwich with it.
Sweet potatoes consistently top the chart of the most nutritious vegetable list. Supplemented with loads of vitamin A and being a great source of B6, C, and folate, the simple yet delicious chips made from the humble sweet potato are a great alternative to the greasy, marketed variety.
Whole Grain Cereal
One bowl enriched whole grain cereal in milk combined with seasonal fruits offers your child the required quantity of vitamins, calcium, and fibre. It serves as a power-packed snack for a healthy start of an action-packed day. For a fun and child-like twist, try yogurt-covered cereal with added dried strawberries.
Not all little ones take it easy when it comes to consuming seafood. Expose them to the tastes of different types of fish till you discover what they like. Tuna fish offers protein and omega-3 fatty acids and can be a great kid-friendly plus healthy fish option. Or try out a bowl of fresh mackerel which provides a great healthy filling. You can also experiment on super quick, homemade fish fingers or salmon with ginger fish cakes, stuff in healthy sweet potato chips for a change.
Fresh fruits make for a perfect snack. Most kids easily take to a bowl of freshly cut apples or bananas. Add bright red colour to their existing palate through vitamin C-rich fresh strawberries. In addition, berries contain resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight cancer-cell formation, and are equally heart-healthy. If you feel like all your kids eat are bananas and apples, try introducing to their diet. For a perfect snack when you’re short on time, try this vitamin- and protein-rich snack with only three ingredients. To add an extra-healthy option, choose whole wheat crepes.
Lastly, nothing can substitute the ‘fresh’ factor related to all foods for people of all ages- young or old. Again, keep the kids away from processed foods. Taking extra pains to serve your child fresh foods is sure to pay off in the long run when you see them grow healthy and strong.