Hello again! And thank you all for reading my previous article​!
I know many of you must have rolled your eyes at "stocking fridge with gajar halwa and peanut laddos" in my article, "are-we-poisoning-our-kids-20-9-2017".​ http://www.oyewiki.com/health/are-we-poisoning-our-kids-20-9-2017?ow_src=5fe11bbe9b9fe5ad58790a8b5428d1bd&ref=home-page  
These things don't work with most kids and I have a good reason to know. So I want to share the tricks which work with my son who is extremely fussy about eating his meals. I would even like to share some tricks to save your time and keep your fridge ready for making fresh meals and snacks for your 1 to 3 year old kids. You can use these recipes for pre-school tiffin, breakfast, as evening meals when you are tired and want some quick but healthy meals for you and your kids. 

The most important thing in feeding kids is to know what type of palate your child has. ​
Children who prefer salty and spicy food will eat almost anything you give them. But those kids who prefer sweet and mostly bland foods (like cerelac, non spicy khichadi) are a nightmare at feeding time. No matter how tasty your dish is, they don't even care to taste it. They will demand same ghee-rice or Ghee chapati they are used to eating. Many kids eat only pancakes and dosa. Parents are constantly worried about such kids' health as they know the importance of vegetables and grains. Below are some recipes for such kids. I am also giving prep and storage tips.

​Dosa and Idli Batter

​I take ratio of rice-dal as 3:1, i.e. 3 cups rice and 1 cup dal, and add 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds (methidana) to it. You can use it for idli sambar, dosa, uttapam, appam, and stuff them with veggies for extra nutrition. 
Storage: After you grind the batter divide it into half. Keep one half in fridge immediately so it will ferment slowly. This i use after two days. The other half i ferment immediately and use upto two days keeping n fridge after fermenting. So I have batter for 4 days total in a week and i can fry a dosa quickly for a snack or morning breakfast for kids and adults as well.
Kids Meal Tricks:
  • Kids between 1 to 3 years are not big on eating stuffed veggies in idli or dosa. So the trick is to boil and puree them instead. Boiling helps reduce the sharp taste of veggies. 
  • Keep the color distinct. Use veggies of same color. So you can allure them into eating red dosa, green idli, and so on.
  • You can add small quantity of Ragi (nachni) flour, flaxseed powder, almond/walnut powder, sprouted and pureed moong or wheat flour to fermented batter just before making dosa. But remember not to add too much of these as they will overpower the original dosa taste and kids wouldn't eat them. Same goes for vegetables.
  • You can add coconut milk and/or cheese to further mask veggies and increase nutrition value.

  • Pancakes

    ​Pancakes are loved by all the kids as they are very similar to cake, just roasted on tawa. Pancakes are wonderful medium to makes kids eat eggs, fruits, dry fruits, honey and some root vegetables like sweet potatoes. (Sweet potato is an extremely healthy vegetable which must be a part of every kid's diet. You can search for health benefits of sweet potato on various health sites.). They take only minutes to prep and cook. I am giving my version of the recipe in which I avoid adding baking soda or other rising agents.
    Plain flour (maida) 1 cup​ [you can also take half cup maida and half other flour like ragi, almond meal]
    sugar 1 cup
    ​2 or 3 eggs a per your liking
    vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
    Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl till sugar dissolves. Add Flour and mix till there are no lumps in the batter. If batter is too thick, mix little milk one spoon at a time till batter drops from spoon in a thick ribbon. At last add vanilla extract to mask the smell and flavor of eggs. Adding more eggs i.e. up to three eggs make up for absence of baking soda and make pancakes soft and fluffy.
    Now heat a non-stick pan on full flame. Add small amount of batter and roast the pancake till upper part is full of holes. It will take less than a minute. 
    Flip pancake to other side and lower flame to medium till other side is golden brown. It will take even less time than first side. 
    Yummy Pancake is ready! This method is not useful for making regular oven baked cakes. Leftover pancakes can be stored into fridge for one or two days.

    Fruit preserve to serve as sauce or topping for kids who don't like fresh fruits :)

    1. Cut 1 bowl of citrus fruits and berrys. (for example strawberry, pineapple, mango, oranges, mosambi or sweet lime, lichee etc.)
    2. Cover it with same amount of sugar and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
    3. Now pour the entire mix into a heated non-stick sauce pan on medium flame, stirring in between till you see the mixture bubbling. When you see bubbles in mix, add juice of half medium sized lemon. Lower the heat and stir.
    4. You will see froth on upper layer after some time. Remove it with a spoon. This will remove any sticks, fruit scales, etc. from the mix.
    5. Now when you feel the mixture becoming sticky, switch off the gas. Don't let mix boil too much as it will be too sticky and firm to eat.
    6. Cool the mixture and fill it in a clean and dry glass bottle and store in fridge for up to 10 days. Use it instead of jam with chapati, pancakes, for topping ice-cream, etc. This is a great option for packed jams and fruit crush in market which are full of preservatives, synthetic colors and flavors.
    Kids meal tricks:
    1. You can keep ready mix of various powdered dry-fruits like almonds, walnuts, unsalted pistachios, cashew nuts, etc. ready to mix it in pancake batter.
    2. You can add boiled and grated sweet potato, carrot and beetroot in small amount. Leftover gajar halwa or kaddu halwa, suji halwa (sheera) too can be added. Use 1/4 th cup of these and 3/4th cup plain flour.
    3. Add one tablespoon of coca powder to make chocolate pancakes.
    4.You can add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to chocolate pancakes. Using cinnamon (dalchini) powder with sweets help to lower the damage caused by high sugar in sweets. Cinnamon has property of regulating insulin level in our blood, along with other health benefits. 
    5. You can add honey on top of pancakes.

    Parathas, Rolls,  Sandwiches, French Toast

  • Many kids like to have plain cheese toast without any vegetables. You can start with little amount of potatoes, sweet potatoes or cauliflower mashed together with grated cheese to spread on sandwich or chapati. Increase the amount and number of vegetables gradually. If you have microwave, steam them into a microwave safe bowl, covered with water for 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • For kids who like ghee-chapati, add boiled and mashed root vegetables, which are naturally sweet in taste to chapati flour while kneading. You can add milk instead of water to further mask the vegetable taste. Now roll chapati using this and serve it with ghee . Again, add vegetables in small amount at first and increase the amount slowly.
  • You can serve french toast to include eggs in breakfast. Mix together eggs, little milk, castor sugar (powdered sugar) and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (dalchini ) powder. Soak whole wheat bread cut into small squares or triangles into the mix and fry in little oil on a non-stick pan, till both sides are golden brown.
  • Kids Love french fries or finger chips. You can cut other vegetables into strips like sweet potato, carrot sticks, cauliflower florets and serve with ketchup. Cut Okra (bhindi) into half vertically, sprinkle some salt (and pepper if your kid like spicy) and rub some oil. Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes or till it is crisp. Serve it as side dish or snack in between meals. 
  • Cottage cheese or Paneer is an excellent source of protein and calcium for kids. You can add it to both sweet as well as spicy dishes without disturbing the original taste. Add it in sandwich spreads, grate finely into dosa batter, or mix in chapati atta to ensure your child gets adequate protein everyday. It can be used very well to mask the sharp taste of green vegetables like fenugreek (mehi), spinach (palak), etc.
  • If your kid is fond of dal-rice, you can add whole lot of veggies to dal while cooking it like carrot, egg plant, drumsticks, guar, tomatoes, red pumpkin or squash, cauliflower, etc. Blend them in dal nicely before giving  tadka. If your kid does not eat chapati and you are worried about his/her wheat intake, add cracked wheat (dalia or Lapsi rawa) in the rice while cooking and serve it with dal. Again to mask the vegetable flavor, make dal like sambar, slightly sour and sweet and add little quantity of sambar masala to it. Even grown ups can enjoy this wholesome meal.
  • Lastly I would like to add an important thing. Above given are just tricks to include vegetables in kids diet for first few years. Its best that they learn the importance of eating veggies in every meal, as early as possible, and eat them in their original form. So, dear friends, let me know whether these tricks were of any help to you. 

    Eat Healthy, Stay Happy!!!

    If you want to add more comments to the article or you see any thing incorrect please write a comment below and we will surely get back to you.

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