Stressing over baby and toddler meals, diets, weight gains, and losses has always been a thing among Asian mommies. They can be extremely concerned about how much their little one weighs, how much he/she’s gained or lost, and how the ‘weight factor’ makes their little ones look. In India, moms focus on doing all they can to make their babies gain ‘healthy’ weight. That’s right, not just ‘weight’ but, ‘healthy weight’.
As far as toddler meals are concerned, it becomes less of a struggle if you could just manage to use everyday ingredients to create and prepare simple, healthy and yummy meals or snacks for your bubs.
Coconut is a key ingredient that everyone in India indulges in – an ingredient you’d find in every Indian home and is often combined with other, simple, easy-to-find ingredients to create varieties of delicious recipes.
Suitable Coconut Products for Toddlers
Speaking of coconut, grated coconut or coconut water may not always be the best choices when it comes to toddler meals. Remember, toddler meals need to be somewhat easy to digest, and also taste great if you really want them to eat it!
You could opt for coconut milk or cream, which again is great for skinny babies in terms of weight gain, coconut flakes or desiccated coconut – which is generally awesome for making some delightful dishes, or coconut oil, which is rich in healthy fats! Check this out, right here, for more coconut-inspired ideas and helpful facts https://fortheloveofcoconut.com/.
Making Worthwhile Choices
Now, if I wanted to make something that would appeal to my fussy little one, I’d go with something they would actually want to eat. First, I’d think of a type of food that might appeal to him a little more than other kinds. For instance, if my toddler usually dislikes sticky, messy sort of foods or chunky foods that are hard to bite on, I wouldn’t want to go for that sort, no matter how tasty and healthy it’s going to turn out.
Second, presentation! Little ones certainly are attracted to stuff that looks pleasing – it’s one of the biggest tricks that you can use with picky eaters and one that actually works! Don’t be surprised but kids could be highly judgmental, which is why they’re highly likely to reject a plate of food that looks dull, plain, boring, and not-yummy in any way.
Banana & Coconut Cookies
Cookies are one of the top toddler-friendly foods of all time. The only likely reason your little one may reject a cookie (after taking a bite or two, of course, never straightway) is because of how it tastes, or because of unappealing ingredients. Otherwise, it’s a treat that any child (or adult) is drawn to instantly!
You may want to use cookie cutters to make it extra appealing, and sprinkle something fun on them, like colored sugar, for older kids.
So here, I’m sharing with you a recipe with an awesome combo that most toddlers love, or will love at least, once you’ve introduced this little treat to them.
The best thing about this recipe is that you only need two, very basic ingredients! Second, it only takes minutes to prepare with two or three basic utensils. And third, it’s a super toddler-friendly in terms of allergies and intolerances.
- A banana
- ¾ cups desiccated coconut
- Preheat oven (180C / 390F).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Mash the banana in a bowl using a fork.
- Add in the coconut and mash further to combine well.
- You may need to adjust the amount of coconut according to the size of the banana in order to get the right consistency. More banana – more coconut.
- Make it into a big ball of dough and place on a clean flat tray.
- Use your pas to flatten the dough slowly, just until it’s about 1cm thick.
- Cut out cookies using your cutters.
- Use a spatula to pick them up and place them carefully on the prepared baking tray. Make sure you’ve spaced them out evenly.
- Bake for about 12min until the edges turn golden brown.
- Smaller cutters will make more cookies. You could double up the recipe if you want a bigger batch
Coconut Rice Pudding
If there’s one traditional and old-fashioned dish that we all still can’t help loving, it’s rice pudding. This is a simple dish that’s usually loved by the entire family. When it comes to fussy toddlers, this one’s an awesome option that’s sure to make them eat and perhaps, gain a few kgs owing to healthy carbs loaded with other nutrients. It’s creamy and rich and has got all the right things that a poor eater needs. Nothing too fancy about it, but you certainly can work on presentation and enhancements using your own ideas!
It’s also super simple to cook – no need of hunting around for ingredients. Simply grab them from the shelves and throw them in a pot!
Here’s what you need and how you’d prep this super delish treat:
- ½ cup pudding rice
- 450 ml milk
- 100ml coconut milk
- ½ tbsp desiccated coconut
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Toppings (optional): sliced fruit, fruit compote, nuts, raisins.
- Place all the ingredients in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce it to a simmer.
- Cover and simmer 30min or until the milk has been absorbed and rice gets creamy. Make sure you stir every few minutes
- Serve with toppings of your choice!
Creamy Date Pudding with Coconut Milk
For the super determined moms who are on a quest for ‘health boost’ recipes for their babies, this one may be just what you’re looking for. A nutrient-dense plus yummy and easy-to-eat recipe – all the good things in one.
I couldn’t think of a better combination if I was desperate to give my kids a whole load of goodness in just one dish made with a super simple recipe like this one.
Once again, the presentation may put your little one-off, as it wouldn’t turn out as interesting or appealing as the first two recipes. Therefore, you’d want to bring out some skills and tricks so your little one wouldn’t refuse to taste it because once she does, she’s not going to say ‘no’ anymore.
- 8-10 dates chopped (soak in water if too stiff)
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- A few cashews
- A cardamom pod
- Blend the dates, cashew, and half the coconut milk until smooth.
- Out the mixture in a saucepan and cook on medium flame 3-5mins.
- Lower flame and add rest of the coconut milk, cook few more minutes, stirring at intervals.
- When the mixture starts thickening and turning creamy, turn off the flame. Cool and serve.
- Garnish as you like!
Liva Christensen has always been deeply inspired by varieties of cuisine that she experienced when she happened to travel a lot in her younger days. Her inspiration turned into a passion for cooking, which she was gradually able to master all by herself, by simply watching, enhancing and experimenting with ingredients, combinations, and styles.
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