As parents, you always want to give your little ones the best of everything. So what will you give your precious little baby as they start going to Montessori and start learning to eat and drink on their own?
At this age, your little one does not know how to manage their time and eating speed. For this reason, it is important to prepare your little one’s lunch box in a way to ensure they can eat fast and easily, making life easy for all. After all the first thing any mum does when their little one comes home is to check inside the lunch box to see if they have eaten all the food. If your child has not eaten it all, this will cause some sadness in your heart. When you try to talk to them about why they didn’t eat, this will cause them to be hurt as well. So, to avoid all of this as much as possible, let’s think twice about what sort of food we give our little ones.
Rice is nutritious
But will they eat it? The little one you struggle to spoon feed will definitely not know how to mix and eat rice by themselves at this age. So, if you are packing rice for them, why not make fried rice which has carrot, a few leeks and an egg all mixed in well so that it is easier for them to eat everything. Let's see how they do when they come back!
Noodles, pasta, macaroni, spaghetti
These are food items made out of flour. However mixing carrot, leeks, and beans will ensure that your little one has all the nutrients of a balanced diet. In addition, preparing this meal isn't too difficult. Try to pick different shapes of pasta each time to make it an exciting visual experience for your little one.
Bread is also okay
Giving bread to your little one is not an issue. However, preparing it in a way that the meal will be full of good nutrients will be the responsibility of the mum. In Japan, they say food is not for the tongue but for the eyes. It is a concept where they believe that making food visually attractive and colourful is crucial to make food appealing. So take a tip from the Japanese and make your food visually appealing. If you are going to make a sandwich, make sure you put butter or margarine between the two bread slices, add a bit of carrot and maybe even a salad leaf to make it colourful. If needed, you can also make a three-layered sandwich – the first layer with beetroot, the second with carrot and the final layer with a salad leaf. This multi-colored sandwich will be a feast for your child’s eyes. You can tell your little one that "a rainbow has seven colours, now you have a sandwich as colourful as a rainbow" – which will keep them excited about eating their food.
Making aggala for your little one
When mums make Samaposha for their children, they tend to use the same recipe every day, in the form of aggala (sweetened cereal balls). In some cases, the aggala ends up being bigger than the little one’s hands, making it difficult for the child to even hold it properly to eat. This makes eating tedious for them. The next time you make this food item, try to make two or three smaller ones that are easier to hold and bite into, rather than one large aggala. Alternatively, you can use kurutu rice which has been slightly roasted to make the aggala instead of Samaposha. When making this dish, all mums should remember that your little one will eat it many hours after you have made it. By the time they eat, the aggala can become dry, causing irritation to the throat of your little one and coughing. To prevent drying, wrap the aggala in a way that retains its moisture. You can also add a small amount of extra sugar syrup to help prevent dryness.
Think of packing chickpeas, green peas and red bean
These are definitely nutritious food items, but you have to make sure that your little one can manage to eat them with a spoon easily. Make sure to pack a spoon that your little one is comfortable using. In addition, do not add coconut into the mix as it tends to spoil quickly. Your little one will not be aware of spoilt coconut and this can cause indigestion. If you are still keen on adding coconut, make sure to temper it for a bit to prevent spoilage and make the meal more appetizing.
If they ask for cutlets, patties, roll
Although your little one will have food cravings, this doesn’t mean that we need to satisfy them always through shop-bought food. When their friends bring food like this your little one will start asking them from you too. Although you may be busy, it is good to prepare biscuit crumbs for this purpose. Making cutlets is not too difficult. Boil a potato, mix it with a little bit of fish, and make two or three little balls of the mixture, and fry it for your little one. They will love it. You can similarly prepare patties and rolls in this manner also. You can make the mixture the day before to reduce time and hassle of doing everything in the morning itself. This way you can ensure that the food your little one is eating is made by you and is definitely clean and healthy.