FUN WITH FOOD
For my toddler, sometimes eating is boredom and a part of followed daily routine. Busy with playing, learning and generally having a good time, he often gets reluctant to leave all that fun for the tedium of the table. But if sitting down to a meal, can be made fun too, he will be more amenable towards it. So, mommies, next time you prepare food for your little one, try adding a pinch of merriment. Follow some inspiration to get started, then dare to create some merry meals on your own.
1. You can cut sandwiches or cutlets into intriguing shapes, (circles, diamond, square, triangle, hearts or a star) with the help of knife or a cookie cutter. Spread big thin pancakes or a bread (can flatten with the help of rolling pin) or chapatis with almond/ peanut butter, cream cheese or some veggies stuffing and roll them up (or can slice them into pinwheels). Pour pan cake batter to form faces or letters or heart, decorate with raisins or blueberries, banana slices, dried apricots. Buy pasta in intriguing shapes — shells or twists, mix and match the varieties.
2. Let loose an artist in you and try sculpting a dish — a banana boat or a landscape of broccoli or cauliflower dusted with cheese “snow”, a “fruit tree”.
3. Cut down mini- pieces, right size for little fists and mouths. Cut sandwiches or cutlets into tiny squares or in form of nuggets, easy to pick and eat as whole. Make quarter-size pancakes, serve cooked carrot “pennies”. If you can find, buy mini-pan to make pancakes or mini-mould to bake mini-muffins.
4. My Master 21, like everything sauced or dipped and want everything coated with it. So, I prefer serving him yogurt dip with different fruit flavors, instead of sauces loaded with salts or sugars.
5. For toddlers who are too young to safely chew carrots, you can serve a mound of grated carrot, or a grated apple or cheese. It eliminates the risk of gagging in young eaters.
So, buckle-up- mommies, just keep offering your little one, don’t assume that because your toddler rejected a new or different food once that he or she will always reject it. Let them touch the food or mush them, sometimes they need to get to know a food — before that first bite taken. Don’t worry too much about the mess in first few months. Allow them to have a hand in the preparation, it has its own fun. They are often more willing to try new and different foods when they have helped “cook” them. And relax: even the finickiest toddlers outgrow their limited tastes.